Today I got something back that I'd really believed was just out of my life forever. I had my first successful run in well over three years. During that time, I've been struggling with a back injury that has at various times left me frustrated, depressed and pissed off. Chronic pain will do that I suppose, but I've been working very hard at learning to live with bum discs by adjusting my lifestyle and practicing pilates religiously. I've gone from hurting every day to discomfort to actually feeling pretty strong and while not completely back to where I was pre-injury, in a much better place.
I've been told that my running days are over, but I have dabbled with it lately and it just hasn't clicked. I feel a tweak or twinge in my lower back and I have to stop. I was starting to think the naysayers were right. But today, out of the blue at the gym, I started and just didn't stop. I got past the wall, which came embarrassingly early, and just kept running. I might be the only person in the world who would use an acoustic version of Moon River to push through, but it was Josh Ritter, a guitar and one of my favorite songs - I think that could get me through the Blitz. Before I knew it, 20 plus minutes and a couple of miles were gone and I was rocking one serious runner's high. I really, really missed that feeling.
It got me thinking about working hard at something. I've spent three years relearning how to stand, correcting my awful posture, strengthening the muscles I need to stay out of pain and all of a sudden it just came together. A little patience and a lot of perseverance, I guess.
To celebrate, I made myself guacamole. A metaphor for patience ... I COULD eat it now, but it will taste so much better in a few hours. For this batch I used, in addition to the avocado of course, garlic, lemon, red onion, cilantro and a nice dose of this ground California chile that I picked up in, well, California.
With respect to perseverance, I got thinking about that too. I've been in a culinary rut for ages. I have little flashes of experimentation, but lately I'm barely cooking let alone cooking anything new, which is silly. When I first lived by myself back in college, I learned a ton about cooking by just trying it. That was when I really started to love it. If I royally screwed something up, it was no problem because no one knew and I just tried again. You don't learn anything if you don't screw up a bit along the way, and success without a few bumps in the road certainly isn't as sweet.
It won't happen this week because I'll be living at the office, but I think it's time to get back to pushing through some experiments. Who knows when I'll have another breakthrough like today!