None of the things I said I was going to do in November (write 50,000 words), or December (run a 10K), none of those things happened. Not a one.
This is unusual for me, or at least it used to be. Maybe not so much anymore. My cup runneth over with projects/goals started but never completed. I have no answer as to ‘why.’ I am beset with an overall feeling of total and complete melancholy.
Is it possible that as we age we lose motivation? Like the point of things just seems to get lost? Like, why not just pick up smoking again and start drinking tequila straight from the bottle. I’ve been struggling with this ‘why’ a lot lately. Why get healthy? Why get off the couch? Why bother?
But there are certain things that I miss. I miss that feeling of being so in tune with my body that I enjoyed burpees. Truth. I miss sleeping through the night, like, really sleeping, uninterrupted peaceful heavy slumber. I miss other things too, like knowing I can pick that thing up and move it; that I can run a mile or two without stopping to walk multiple, multiple (multiple) times. I miss the way my clothes used to fit. I miss enjoying getting dressed in the morning. I miss shopping for workout clothes. Now all I shop for is flannel shirts, oversized men’s flannel shirts that offer full upper-body coverage. I miss my neckline. I miss my CrossFit shoulders. Those shoulders would not get me on the cover of Muscle Magazine, but they were mine, they were toned, they enabled me to enjoy sleeveless shirts in the summertime. I still have shoulders but they are safely hidden under flannel. I also miss my waistline and wearing belts. I miss tucking in my shirt. I miss not having to adjust my pants when I sit down. I miss being able to put on shoes without grunting. I miss working towards pull-ups, which I have never, ever had. But I miss the hope that maybe someday they will materialize. I miss deadlifting. I miss the sound of barbells hitting the floor.
I miss the sound of barbells hitting the floor.
I miss signing up for group challenges, like a strongman competition, or a 10k. Regardless of where I finished. At least I finished. I miss events that get you and your old friends and your new friends focused on healthy and get you training together. I miss accountability, which leads to training on your own even when it’s dark and cold outside. I miss running with the dog: going for long runs with the sound of four furry feet padding alongside. I miss the way the dog falls asleep for hours once we get home. I miss that feeling of having a well-exercised dog that sleeps contently after our afternoon romp together. I have a young dog in my life again, he does not get enough exercise. I recognize this.
I miss feeling like I can do things. I can do that. And that.
I miss coworkers saying to me, “Hey CrossFit, can you open this for me?”
I miss the clarity of mind.
I miss people. I miss working alongside healthy like-minded people. Together we focus on the simple mechanical task in front of us: lifting the weight off the floor, or getting one more rep, or running one more lap around the parking lot. Don’t get me wrong, during 9-5 hours I work alongside some pretty dynamic folks in our shared office space, but the electronics that surround us get all of our attention. I miss spending time with people in real time and getting our hands dirty; building up blisters and scratching down numbers with bits of chalk; setting up in preparation to work out together and taking it all down again in a that kind of post-WOD meditative state; high-fiving and leaving a trail of sweat on the floor along the way.
I miss these things.
So, here’s the rub, I live in the woods, in a cabin in the woods, three miles down a dirt road which is currently frozen over in ice and packed snow. The nearest CF is over an hour away. It is way too easy to hibernate in my cabin with my young dog who does not get out of doors nearly enough. It is January, we are just emerging from a week of sub-zero temps. I have an extension cord running across the kitchen floor to where it is plugged into a utility lamp under the kitchen sink, trying to keep the pipes from freezing at night. I am full of excuses.
I need a goal. Something I’ve never done before. Not another 5k on a Saturday morning. Right now, the idea of a 5K on a Saturday morning feels like a gnat to be swatted away. Annoying. I am about to turn 49 years old. What do I have to show for it? A lot: A nice comfy home. I can finally say I am earning a paycheck doing what I love for a living. And I get to keep learning, and with each new course of study, I add to the knowledge base from which I earn my keep in the world. I am finally investing in me.
So why can’t I get off the couch on the weekends? Why can’t I see how my habits are dwindling the overall selection of clothes that I can wear. Why do I look sideways into the mirror? Squinting even.
Something must change.