Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rocking the boat

I read a book once that left an image relating to whether or not one should rock the boat in my head. Picture a sandy beach with not a single foot print or a field of untrodden snow. Do you dare?

When I was running well I did dare....sometimes. I was more often one to jump in with both feet, charge out the door to face the world and make a scene if the situation called for it, only not too much. Women can never be too much. It's frowned upon. Instead, we learn to present ourselves the way we think others want to see us, tone down our wild side and weaken our stronger selves. I can't say it better, so I will use a quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson 
Often my fears are around inadequacy though, especially now.

The other day I was talking to an artist about whether or not he feels that his art is a way for him to express what's inside or a way to uncover something inside that he didn't know was there. Either way, it's important to get out of your own way in order to tap into your creative side, whatever it's trying to convey to the world. It's funny that self-censorship can either make something better or limit it so much that it is no longer interesting.

Obviously I'm in one of those moods that is calling for me to throw a mess of words onto the screen without any structure or deep thought tonight. I'm just wondering if happiness can create anything of interest. Of course it can, but aren't people are drawn to misfortune and struggles? I know there are those people, especially in Boulder, who refuse to be surrounded by negativity, as if that's really possible, but again, in big general terms, most people like to take a peak at a train wreck. If one looks at musicians, writers, actors and artists, it's often those who can tap into the dark side who give birth to a masterpiece. Yes, there are exceptions. The band The Red Hot Chili Peppers comes to mind. Anthony Kiedis produced good music both on and off drugs, but he had some bad experiences from which to draw At any given moment, he can revisit his drugged out days. It's interesting that he was quoted as saying, "It’s easy to be a junkie, but it's not easy to be one of the best guitarists or songwriters of all time."  Often those who get past heartbreak, drugs and a crippled mind don't go on to do additional great things. They find it more of a challenge to just be normal. However, there are those who can survive adversity and move into a new way of living successfully.

I can't say that my running was ever truly great. It did push me to levels that seemed impossible to reach. Once I took it too far and injured both my body and my spirit, it took tremendous effort to learn how to let my dreams die. Unfortunately, I was fueled by sickness, so, unlike those who were able to find balance and live more normally while finding success, I was stuck in a nightmare that generated an accomplished athlete.

In my manuscript, I might have brushed over some of the more terrible times in my life. I now think that people are drawn to either extraordinary tragedy or terrific happiness (or the fantasy of such happiness). I'm wondering if I should go more deeply into the darker aspects of the eating disorder. I figured there were so many diaries published about anorexics and what they eat and how much they exercise, but maybe people want more of that. I can understand, because it gives an idea of what the illness is all about. Still, my goal was to present something different.

Well, this is going nowhere slow (ly).

I guess I was trying to get at the fact that since I have been happier lately, I haven't been as willing to poke around in that dark side of the eating disorder. When I started the book, I had a bad case of anemia, and it was a little easier to open up old wounds while already feeling down. I might need to do so again, but it take a fair amount of energy and willingness to unwrap something you thought was finished. There's a reason I stay away from gyms, avoid runners who talk about how slow they are running at 6 whatever pace and bypass those who talk about diets too much. I would say that my actions are cured, but my mind can still be affected by others. In other words, I can easily get into a sick anorexic mindset, but I no longer take action. Still, that mindset is not healthy, and it's a drag to struggle with those negative thoughts no matter how they resurface. I hate to use the word triggers, but I suppose it's kind of true that anyone can be triggered by something in the environment. I guess it's no different for an alcoholic to stay away from bars. We do what we need and can in order to keep on an even keel.

On a somewhat related note, though I realize I'm a bit all over the place, I'm wondering how many people who have lived with quite a lot of stress in life get worried when happiness lands in their lap.

By the way, I just read about a horribly disturbing trend recently. Apparently, brides to be are using feeding tubes to lose weight. I'd like to slap some sense into any doctor who would agree to be a part of this.

In other news, I'm still not really running normally, but I think my foot is improving? It's hard to tell sometimes. At least I can get outside a bit though. The limp is still quite pronounced, but there is a bit less pain. I see the doc in a little over a week.

Well, lately I'm rocking no boats. I've noticed that even in my workouts I'm aiming for average. Bill Hicks would be disappointed. In my case, it's a combination of not having the energy, lacking the courage and possibly needing something different that I can't quite put my finger on yet. I know it's OK to strive for the middle ground now and then. I just hope I can pull out of that kind of thinking in at least one aspect of my life soon.

The truth is that I have a bit of writer's block, so please excuse the choppy scribbling here. Some days I simply need to put a few words together. It's a bit like going for an easy run after some time away from the sport. Get the toes wet before really jumping into anything more formal.

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