Saturday, February 18, 2012


Saturday, February 18, 2012
bike ride-- 12.71 miles

Today I rode my bike for the first time since I bought it.  It had a flat tire that I had to change, so for the first two weeks I owned it, it sat on my front porch.  I changed the tire a couple of days ago, and today I decided to get off my lazy butt and ride around.  I hopped on the bike path near my house and peddled in one direction for a half hour, then turned around and peddled back.  It felt as though I could have possibly gone further, but I really did not want to push it because I have not been working out regularly in over two months.  What I did not realize until after I mapped the ride out when I got home was that it had a subtle decline the entire way to the turnaround point, therefore it was a slow incline all the way back home.  That was a little painful.  My heart was racing the last mile.  It felt really good, though; I felt like I was doing something athletic again.

I still have to fight the urge to run, even though I have begun developing some temporary substitutions.  That's what they are though: substitutions.  I know I have not really committed and given yoga and bicycling a chance, but there is a strong desire in me to run, and I have not yet been able to shake that.

I was watching Moneyball today (which was a fantastic film by the way) and just seeing a sports movie made me want to run out my front door.  Even though my foot does not usually feel uncomfortable, I can still feel the injury and it takes every bit of the small part of my brain that is reasonable not to say "whatever" and just go run.  Never mind the fact that I am still injured, but since it has been so long since I've run, I guarantee I would be disappointed when I'm completely exhausted after a mile... and in excruciating pain.

Aside from bicycling and running and injured feet, I have had something kind of major on the brain.  I feel like this roadblock in my running truly aligns with a very real roadblock in my life: approval.

Before I move forward, let me back up.  Things have been truly amazing in my life lately.  I am moving forward in my career and personal life and getting over all the hurt that last year brought.  My half-marathon kind of represented that for me: a triumph that was a long time coming.  But there is a big hurdle that I have yet to even address, and that is my need for approval.  It is a modern idol of sorts that I know I am far too invested in.  I need the approval of others.  In my job.  In my friendships.  In my life.  I need others to think I'm great, beautiful, cool, smart, nice, etc.  It colors everything I do.  Last summer I had a long conversation with my pastor's wife about what a hard time I was having with my divorce.  Exasperated, I said "...and to top it off, I know some day I'm going to have to explain to some guy's family that I was married for a short time and hope they don't assume that I can't commit to a healthy relationship and..." and I realized then what I was really saying was "I may not need to please my ex anymore, but I need to please someone, and it isn't myself and it isn't God."  My pastor's wife didn't even have to say anything.  I knew and she knew that this was a problem for me.

The issue, aside from what I've just laid out, is that I have no idea how to work on this flaw of mine.  I know if I don't, I won't be able to have a healthy relationship, because the only type of person that wants to be with a person who is desperate for approval is someone who is hungry for power and control... and I know where that ended up.

So here's the parallel: my life came back together again over the past year, and although everything is seemingly great, I know there is this trait of mine that will put me in the exact same paralyzing position if I don't fix what's broken, deep inside.  I ran this 13.1 mile race and I felt great, accomplished, and then it became clear that I couldn't keep doing that if I didn't fix this fundamental part of my body: my foot.

I want to keep talking about this, but this post is getting a little long, so I'll close for now by saying that the first step I'm taking towards repairing my running life is staying off my foot.  I hope to wake up early tomorrow and do another long bike ride.  I wish I knew an easy first step to getting over this need for approval.  Maybe it'll come to me on my next ride...

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