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Through Hail and High Water


For the past four weeks I’ve been training for my 3rd triathlon. Some people think I’m insane (and I probably am) and others think it’s pretty darn cool (and it is). I have good weeks and I have bad weeks where my legs feel like wood but I get everything crossed off on the list.

The weather in the Pacific Northwest has not been conducive to training so I am often greeted with rain, hail and wind on my bikes and runs. Today was especially exciting because halfway through my run the dark clouds moved in and the wind picked up and rained on me. Hard. I was already sweaty and hot so it didn’t matter that I was getting wet. I took off my glasses when I couldn’t see anymore and continued to run toward home. A few people stood huddled under the awnings of their homes deciding if they wanted to make a break for their cars or just wait it out. I kept running. I could have stopped and walked home but that wouldn’t have done me much good. I was already wet.

Hours before my run I was beating myself up for choosing to read the NY Times and drinking coffee instead of getting up and going for my run. On Sundays I like to delay my chores and responsibilities for a few hours while I enjoy the quiet of the morning. Sounds peaceful, right? Normally it is, but for whatever reason (I’ll blame hormones) this week I’ve been feeling like a complete and total slacker. I haven’t done much writing at night but I have accomplished many other tasks like getting Mother’s Day gifts made and sent out on time, cleaning the house, and taking care of a gimpy cat. But because my pile of accomplishments didn’t include writing, my Inner Lutheran tsk’d and made me feel bad.

While I was running through the neighborhood and the rain was pouring down on me in sheets, a thought passed through my soggy mind. Yes, writing is hard but so is running. You have to run for a mile or so until your legs loosen up and you find your stride. My mom often says that some days you run like Forrest Gump and others you don’t.

The same thing can be said about anything I want to accomplish. I wrote the opening paragraph to this post about three times before the before the words began to flow. During the week days the words often sit clumsily on the page and I get distracted by internet shinies before I can really work through them. I pondered this idea little more as my shoes began to squish on the pavement; if I truly want to be good at something, I really have to work. Training for a triathlon requires work and discipline to prevent injuries and me sinking to the bottom of the river on race day. I burn more energy and have to plan heartier meals and think more about eating. I can’t just skip a meal or eat a piece of cheese. I want to succeed I’ll eat, I’ll work harder and I’ll plan better.

I came home from my run feeling tired but invigorated having Figured Things Out. Like with training, the “writing shoes” need to go on each day even if I’m tired, cranky or not in the mood. I have a training plan for what I’m going to do each day so maybe it’s time to make one up for writing. I’ll start easy with 20 minutes each day and build up from there. I learned how to run in five-minute increments and I can learn to write on a schedule this way, too.

The past few days have been a strange emotional rollercoaster for me and I’m happy the ride finished smoothly without me losing all the change in my pockets or the plot.

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

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