Sunday, January 18, 2009

Windy City

It's not even ten p.m. yet (as I start to type) and I'm exhausted. The wind has been raging outside my apartment all day, shaking the windows and whistling through the trees. This morning I managed on a longish run/walk with a good friend. The mile warm-up was brutal. My feet were heavy, my lungs on fire. The wind was cold and tenacious, not quite pushing me off track, but not exactly at my back speeding me along. But the next few miles were easier. My legs and spleen relaxed, my lungs adjusted to the cool air, and I eventually found myself cruising along as if I was still on my 15-20 mile a week training cycle.

The first mile and a half of any run is the worst. All I want to do is slow down and walk, just for a minute, and then I'll totally start back up again. If I stop in that first mile, it's over. I'll get a nice long walk in, but not a run. But if I can break through it, if I can convince my body to hold out for the sign that marks the I can go for as long as I want. I'm still not sure what it takes to get through, to get over the hump. Knowing that would make my training so easy - I would just do "X" and find myself an Olympic Marathon contender. A year after I started running for real (as supposed to a random mile here and there marked "cross-training"), I'm still at a loss.

Work, schoolwork in particular, requires a similar sort of mental bolstering. Certain assignments and topics are instantly attractive. These are the classes where the recommended reading is always done and my papers are masterpieces in attention and scope. But the rest sort of lingers in the background. My overachieving ways used to be the spark - I have to do this assignment because it's part of being excellent and a nerd, but I will wait for the very last moment, because I am either not interested or (more likely) terrified of beginning something I don't understand or something beyond my perceived capabilities.

Too much of my life has been governed by fear - fear of failure, fear of disappointing others, fear of being alone. The only way to get over all this is to face it head on. And I have, after a fashion. I have not left anything till the last minute for this degree. I actively email professors or fellow students. I have a fancy agenda where everything gets scribbled down. And yet here I sit, with plenty to do and no motivation to start. Part of it is sleepiness (long run, little food, too much work). Part of it is a fear to start because nothing will be as good as the grades I got last term. Part of it is just pure laziness. I know I sometimes come across as that hardworking, organized girl (at least this is what people tell me), but I don't feel all that dedicated. I have a lot I want to do and would like to do, and then I find myself in bed with a novel or writing a pointless blog entry about how I feel I'm not getting enough work done.

Taking a quick look through my LJ indicates that some things never change.

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