All these thoughts are swirling. I just can't type fast enough. This one is probably going to come out all crazy like. Who cares! Dirks email tonight summed it up:
Haha, it's called a revelation or big jump. That's what we worked for so hard and long. Yes. Awesome.
Oh gosh where to start? I had a jump, a revelation tonight, it was amazing. I shed tears. Okay, not really tears, it was more of a laugh/shudder/bending over/shaking head/looking to sky/arms raised sort of situation. It was awesome.
I knew it, I floated home, I literally levitated while running home, pure air.
Surrender and Joy. That's it. That's the missing pieces. Surrender to the work and love every minute of it. Through all the trials this year the work never changed. Dirk always remained constant and determined in his plan. He was rigid.
It's a learning point for me as a coach. You have to see your athletes and understand them, but your process has to remain steady. There are times when they will blunder the best laid plans, you have to keep the course as a coach, and hope that your athletes will keep progressing towards all you know they can be. But steadfast, that's what I think of with Dirk. He just kept looking down on the situation from cruising altitude.
There are steps you have to take as an athlete that nobody can take for you. They are yours alone to figure out, sort out, maneuver through.
Love the work. Love the challenge. Really. If you don't, then find a way. Inner peace, leave the angst. Drop it. Find a way. It has no place.
See, I told you this would be a strange post. Still typing fast.
I was scared for tonights run. But as I jogged out my driveway my feet just pattered my body away from the house and I felt like a deer. The sun had set, soon the sky would be pitch black. The moon was barely existent and I ran straight into the darkness.
The temperature was perfect, if this was my last run, I would be happy. I stopped and peed in the bushes. Even that made me happy. Peeing in the woods in the dark. Tee-hee-hee.
I stopped at the road. It's a road through a state park, only an occasional motorist passes on it at 7:30pm. I reset my watch and just take off. No fear. The heart rate instructions are manageable, hard, but not killer. Just run 5K at 86% of max Hr. Simple.
I feel my feet, but it's pitch dark so I'm more aware of the fluidity of my legs, the tempo with which they are turning over. My shoulders are relaxed, my stomach is tight only in the correct places for a runner. I have no idea the dips and cracks beneath my feet, I keep my gaze straight forward and my focus is on nothing and everything all at once.
My watch laps at the 1K, it's on "light up continuously" mode so I can see the numbers, glowing neon green, a stark contrast to the dark world around me.
I acknowledge the 1K split and keep running. The Hr is so good and the effort matches. The legs keep rolling over. 2K and my brain starts computing. The mathematician in me is always computing, counting, adding, conjecturing.
I suddenly see that a 5k PR is a possibility and my mindset changes. It relaxes and the mental talk is all positive, not one negative breath. The feeling in my body, it's beautiful and relaxing.
3K hits. throw the HR number out the window, but don't be crazy. No huffing and puffing and losing form and acting like a dying animal. When I was young I got to see Suzy Favor-Hamilton run several track meets. After every race, where sometimes she would lap 2nd place, she would end and just walk off. Never a break in form, you never even knew she was working.
I was having a Suzy kind of day. A few cars passed the other direction and I'm running in the middle of the road, hauling ass with the most perfect form, I'm free and if I had any hair it would have been blowing behind me all perfect like. Loving it, actually feeling free and unrestrained. Like this is where I am meant to be in this moment.
The last 1K was uphill. Who cares? Not me. I just ran with the same intensity, the same form, just putting pressure in all the right places.
5K hits on my watch. I stop. I walk a few steps just like Susy used to. I turn around and start my cool down home. Then I look down and see the time. And that's when the whole bending over, shaking, reaching to the sky, almost shedding a tear situation happens. My watch shows a 26 second 5K PR.
I ran a 19:20 5k in the pitch black dark, by myself, at 15 heart beats lower than I would run a 5K at. I had a revelation. I felt joy, not after, okay after, but during. I was full of joy during it.
Surrender to the plan, find the joy. Seek no rewards but the healthy feeling of doing the work day to day.
That's it, the missing pieces.
What a crazy life, what a totally crazy life.
As I levitated home, I was thinking about Rasmus Henning. He just announced his retirement and I just finished his book. He talks about his "motivation pyramid". It has 4 tiers: joy, goals, work, and willpower. He talks about how most of his time should be spent in the bottom section...joy. If he is spending all his time at the top using willpower to get through his days, it's exhausting.
He gets it. Probably got it a hell of a lot longer ago than I did. We are all a work in progress.