In Training (Day 47)….Deciding Factors


Thoughts this morning started with the question of ‘What’s happened to all my socks?’ 

A foolish question, I know, but as I gazed in my sock drawer the six pair of black socks I once had have been reduced to three with a spare black and somehow a navy a blue sock that originally didn’t belong me has managed to find its way in there.  The grey socks have mysteriously been reduced in number and the white ones…well, let’s just say I see sock heaven in their future.

Where do socks go?  I sometimes wonder if the washing machine is not just stuffed full of socks that is has sucked out of the drum and stores in the bowls of its, well…

The mental note to self was made to purge all the orphan socks from my drawer, discard the sad remnants of over used socks and replenish the supply.  I kind of have to do that will all my undergarment things though.  That is one decision now confirmed and scheduled for weekend activity.

I need shoes as well.  I am about as horrid with shoes as I am with my hair.  Just as I let my hair look like the Bride of Frankenstein having a bad hair day before I get it cut, I wear my shoes to the point where they start to look pretty gnarly.

I go for comfort when I buy a shoe.  And when I find that shoe that makes my feet feel as if they are on a cloud they become fused to my feet.  Case in point, three and half years ago I bought a pair of flat dress shoes from Le Chateau.  They were a soft leather dyed silver.  My feet have been in heaven in these shoes.  I wore them to work the other day and about half way through the morning I gazed down at my feet and grimaced at the condition of the shoes.  They are starting to sprout small holes on the toes and the leather has worn away and they are kind of scuffed up looking now.

I said a silent eulogy knowing too that these shoes, along with my Puma mirror-ball shoes must be retired.  My Pumas actually have a lot of sole left but they have sequins on the top, hence the mirror-ball reference, and well, looking kind of ratty now.

What does any of this have to do with training for a half marathon, you ask?

I guess it has to do with the decisions we make and the reasons we make them.  It is the behaviour pattern that I look at now of why I keep things that have long passed on their usefulness.  Why, I wonder, do we form emotional connections to objects such as shoes.  Do you have a favourite top?  A pair of jeans that fits you just so?  Does your car make your heart sing?

Yet these are inanimate objects that simply serve a purpose.  And when they are no longer useful they simply become clutter.  Such is the case with emotional echoes that come back from time to time pulling me back into old patterns of thinking.

For a time I was weighted down with clutter of every variety.  And I have heard it said that once you begin to purge the clutter from your physical world it will resonate with you in your spiritual and emotional realm as well.  I have found that to be the case.

I spent a lifetime telling myself what I couldn’t do.  I had ever excuse going for me too.  I had supporting arguments as well.  I was the quintessential victim in every sense.

What changed?

It started with the little things like cleaning out a sock drawer and then cleaning out the closets.  It started with me asking myself why in heaven’s name I was keeping all this stuff in the first place.  I had ten years of magazines and I leafed through them wondering what article it was that WOWED! me to the point that it had held residence for so long.  And as all of these things found their way either into the garbage bin or they were recycled what was left was just the woman.  Her physical world was cleaned up but when she looked in the mirror she didn’t like who was looking back at her.

Yes, I have suffered from depression.  Yes, I have suffered from abuse.  Yes, I have suffered.  And in that moment I asked myself a very important question.

“Is that all you want to be known for is having suffered in this life?”

It was a frightening admission and one that I needed to change.  And so I opened the emotional closet that day.  Good lord, what a lot of junk!  Still moving through it but its a whole lot cleaner in there now.

These days I anticipate what I will be able to achieve and then work to make it happen.

Rebecca Marino is a tennis player who recently bowed out of the sport.  She has suffered from depression for a long time and she also found the scrutiny and often cruel words bantered about on social media sites hard to accept.

On the drive in I listened to the debates about this on the radio.  Some saying she should ‘suck it up’ and others really ‘feeling her pain.’

At the end of the day it is her decision.  One she will ultimately have to live with.  Just as I decide what is best for the person I am, so must she.  And knowing the sporting world, just knowing the world in general that when you have any measure of success the expectations that can be placed on you are at times unreasonable if not unrealistic and unbearable.  And if you don’t measure up to these expectations, well we all know how cruel our species can be.

Still I look at what I expect of myself now, not what I perceive is expected of me.  Not an easy task and in no way mastered but I have that awareness now.

I wish her well.  I don’t know the nature or severity of her depression but I hope she finds her peace, her truth, her bliss.

I know that depression is an emotional disability of sorts and I will live each day for the rest of my life rising above it.
Now where are my socks anyway?

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