Friday, November 15, 2013

I Worry

I worry a lot.

I worry that I've forgotten something. That I didn't complete the key paperwork and will miss a deadline.

I worry that I will eat the wrong thing, drink too little, drink too much, and my digestive system will rebel mid-race.

I worry that I will push too hard in the first half, believing I can hold a pace for 13 miles, and will smack into a solid, soul-crushing wall in the second half.

I worry when the woman on TV says left-overs are only safe 3-4 days after they were cooked.

I worry when Seth works through the night. By himself. With heavy machinery.

I worry that without a race or challenge on the books, I will gain weight, lost fitness, and have to buy larger jeans while my muscles atrophy from days of sitting in front of a computer.

All this worry is what wears me out, makes me long for a nap and a pillow over my  head to drown out my thoughts.

There are all kinds of clever sayings about how worry is like a rocking chair (gives you something to do, but never gets you anywhere) and how if you worry about the worst and it comes to pass, then you've lived it twice. These are nice sentiments to keep in your back pocket when you need to soothe a friend or give yourself a quick pep talk, but they don't offer any real solutions. "Don't worry." has got to be the most infuriating direction anyone can give.

Sure. I'll just stop worrying. Thank you for coming along with that insightful, well-thought out bit of guidance. I wish I had thought of that. Poof. I'm not worrying anymore.

I know there are things I can do that make me feel better, that help me worry less. I have allowed my schedule to become an excuse and stopped going to church in recent months. I miss that quiet time, that weekly reassurance that there is someone larger, older, wiser who has already done all of my worrying for me.

When I was still teaching, I was given a few childrens books based on bible passages and they give me infinite comfort. You may not like them, you may not agree with me, but I love them.

One of them is based on a passage from Matthew. To paraphrase it's message: Do not worry about your life. Look at the birds of the air. See how the lilies of the field grow.

At first it struck me as a little simple and fanciful. It is a simple reminder, but simple because it's true. I have everything I need. Birds need food, air, and a place to rest. I have that. Flowers need water, sun, and place to put down roots. Check, Check, Check. And I have so much more than that.

I don't want to worry about this race. I know in my head that I have done the work and followed the plan. I know that this aggressive goal is something my coaches believe I can do- they have delivered it with such forceful insistence that it is something I'm capable of. (I 50% believe them that they got it from a calculator based on my workouts, and 50% believe it's a jedi mind trick to see if I have one of those major "mind of matter" moments where they tell I can do something that's actually outside of the reasonable realm, but if they can convince me, it'll validate all those The body acheives what the mind believes. memes out there.)

Either way, I will wake up tomorrow morning, delight in a beautiful day in a city I am so happy to call home, and I will run. I will celebrate with my friends, I will smile at the wonderful people who come to cheer, and I will be thankful.

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