Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not Quite what Pink Floyd had in Mind...

Runners World magazine often features media stars who happen to be runners. This month's is Ben Gibbard, the lead singer in the band Death Cab for Cutie (a band I actually have on my Run playlist!). The last quote of the article is this:

"How you transcend the wall, as a runner or a musician, defines who you are."

Wow. "As a runner or a musician..." or a mom, or an employee, or a student or a whatever-you-are. The Wall, it's not just for running.

The Wall, in running, is a physical or mental point in your workout or race where you have to stop. Either your body has run out of glycogen to burn for fuel, or your brain has decided that running is no longer on the schedule for today. I'm familiar with the Wall. It usually comes 2 miles before I'm done. Even if it's a 3 mile run, the 2-till-done mark almost always hits me. Unfortunately for Nashville, I hit it early (at mile 11 of the 26.2).

But I hit it in life too. Some days the Wall comes about an hour before bedtime when the only thing I can handle is putting on a movie and staring at the toddler. Sometimes it's cleaning and the dishes sit for one more night in the sink. Sometimes it's scheduling and that trip to the bank just won't happen today.

I know a racer who hits the wall the moment her foot crosses the START line. Obviously it's a mental wall more than a physical wall, but it's a wall nonetheless. And it's been transcended many times already. Today I'm thinking about what all my walls are, and that HOW I transcend them means something. Do I ask for help over it? Do I quit and sit down? Do I try to push the wall over, climb it, burn it, go around it? Or do I just trust that I'll transcend it, and look over my shoulder once I have?

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