Wednesday, November 11, 2015

They Are Here Already

They strike only when an important athletic event approaches. Landfall can vary anywhere from one week to two weeks out, but sometimes it is as short as a day. My schedule seems to be one determining factor in when they strike if at all. In times of high activity, the growing anxiety doesn't have a chance to make its appearance until the EndangeredSwimmer stands face to face with the long-awaited event. At other times, they have mysteriously been missing, no-shows like many of the students I don't teach. Like a flubbed meteorological forecast, I have seen the times when never come to pass.

This time the nibbles of nerves have already begun, and like the contractions of a woman in labor, they are bound to grow stronger and more frequent as D-day approaches. Maybe the fact that D-day for this event has come and gone before and D-day turned out to be disaster day has caused my anxiety to be ratcheted up higher than normal. I came, I saw, and I was conquered in my initial match with The Great Noxapater Journey Run, walking on crutches for six full weeks after my first ill-fated attempt. What will this try hold?

November 19th at approximately 12:00 pm is my scheduled launch to once more leave my wife's house on West Monroe Avenue and begin shuffling towards Noxapater, approximately 117 miles away. I don't know what to expect, only that I am better trained and more experienced than I was in December of 2013. Still I am far from as trained as I would like to be, and I still have no experience with multi-day runs. I had intended to try one or two two-day runs, but who knows why I failed to pull that off.

I have already written about my reasons for doing this. Several times. Yet I feel compelled to reproduce once more as best I can my limited understanding of my own motivation. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am working school registration now which means I am sitting in my office, and I just finished watching every YouTube video ever posted. Boy, that took a while. I posted one myself earlier today, so I just turned to the blog instead of that stack of papers that needs grading. Why oh why do I loathe grading as much as I do? I think it hurts my feelings to see how little of what I try to pass on to the students actually makes it into their skills sets. Be that as it may, I will tell you again why I am attempting to run for five days:
  • I like physical challenges, ones that make me train hard over a long period of time.
  • I like physical challenges that force me to think hard as well as train that way.
  • I love goal setting, investing sweat and effort into the project for long periods of time with and end in mind. 
  • I love the feeling I receive when I finally pull it off, that deep-seated satisfaction that is as real and tangible as the bulging set of keys in my pocket.
  • I crave alone time, time to reflect and not reflect; time to think and not to think; time to just be and let nature seep herself into my soul at her own pace.
  • I love adventure and my one-day adventure runs have been a delight that form part of that good place I can go to when life sends me scurrying for some solace.
  • I am re-enacting my great-grandfather's epic journey from the Utah Territory to Louisville, Mississippi, a journey he made by foot in 1895 at the tender age of twelve. I plan to visit his and my great-grandmother's graves in downtown Louisville before making my way to Noxapater (population 472) where I will spend some time with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Paul.
Have I told you about my past experiences with making adventure trips to the Louisville/Noxapater area. I'll save that one because I work registration again tomorrow.
With the run a week and two days out, I am entering that span of reduced activity that leaves more time and more energy for the butterflies to circle my stomach and remind me that my mouth and keyboard have written checks my legs might not be able to cash. What else is new?