Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday Thoughts

Had a nice run this morning with the Y group. It was about 32 out, clear and sunny. We had a small group for today - only about ten. Jenny and I ran together - she is recovering from knee surgery and is wearing some kind of bionic looking brace. She's happy to run at my pace and take walk breaks. After the run we headed over to Starbucks as usual. It was our usual rowdy crowd. We had a couple of newer members with us - they really seem to be enjoying the whole experience. It always cracks me up - right now we have Rick out (knee surgery two weeks ago), Sonya out (vertigo - nasty stuff), and Barb out (potential knee surgery). But you know what? They all show up for coffee! (Actually, they all got there at the usual meeting time and either swam or walked - no slackers in our group!)

Eric and I have been watching the Olympics - the downhill skiing. It makes me wonder - if you get to do something you love for a living, are you able to keep your passion for it going? Does it stay fun? Or does it become know "man, I've got to go hit the slopes again today" kind of thing? Is there a point where you're flying down the hill, but there's so much pressure to perform - to make the time or make the team - that there is no joy in it?

I am a non-competitive person. Competition actually stresses me out - maybe that's why I wonder about it. Maybe if you are highly competitive, then you thrive on the pressure. Eric and I were talking about Bode, the downhill guy. I don't follow the sport at all, don't know anything about him except what I've seen on TV last night and today. I guess he's made some PR mistakes lately. All I know is, it doesn't look like he's enjoying himself. Eric thinks he probably enjoys the nitty-gritty - everything to do with skiing - but doesn't enjoy the media part. It's funny to think that you could take something you love, make it your job, and yet still have part of it you dread. I guess it just goes to show that every job has some kind of down side.

It's kinda like what I've read in other posts - if every run is focused on time, speed, HR, form, or something then you forget the fun part. I wonder if I ever do get to run a marathon, will I be overwhelmed by the training? Will I find a long run fun? What if it becomes "work" and I dread it? Training for my first half was okay - I had a friend who'd do many of the longer runs with me. The second time, my friend Sonya and I signed up for the same race, and trained for the whole thing together (this was pre-heart days). It was a blast - mostly because we were in it together. And, I think, because we were flexible. If we had to switch our long runs around, no biggie. We were in it for the experience and the fun.

Eric and I often talk about quitting our jobs, selling the house and hitting the road. We'd travel marathon to marathon. He'd run the marathons, I'd run whatever shorter race was attached. I think at that point there is no training - his fitness level would be maintained through races. Every week we'd see somewhere new, run new routes. Sounds like fun doesn't it? I bet every runner out there has a similar dream!


robtherunner said...

Wonderful thoughts Michelle. And to think, you used to keep those all bottled up instead of letting the rest of us in on them.

olga said...

I often wonder if doing sport for living can go as passion. But then again, doctors (good ones) love what they do and have pressure to perform well (they better!). Well, media is not involved...I'd be very uncomfortable with press, but may be their focus is on competition? I know marathon runners from pour countries (whether it's Kenia or Russia, and I've talked to them)started the sport as a joy, but are doing it now for the pay. It gets dull, though moments of fun do still happen, and not only on podium, but during runs as well. It becomes a job, not hated, but a job...I guess I love trail ultrarunning as a sport because nobody gets paid and you only do it for pure love...or masochistic feelings. Anyway, long comment, but the last part is a dream of ours too: we'd travel, but I'd run trail races of all kinds otr just trails, and Oleg'd climb and run trails (no races), and we'd hike and live out of a day.