Whose race are you running?

This weekend has been a great success in the Long family household. We rested.

If you have read any of the previous blogs about moving eight times in three years (or ten moves since we got married seven years ago…) or our continued desire to seek out adventure, you know rest is hard to come by around here. Michael and I love to passionately go after nearly everything we do. We aren’t just plant-based, we are active in the plant-based community! We aren’t just therapists, we are passionate about ethically sound therapy and educating the community along with developing a new model of practice! We aren’t just married and in love, we are working on aligning our careers so we can work together everyday! I discovered a deep LOVE and passion for trail running exactly one year ago and what do I do?! Run two 50ks in one year!!!! Michael loves drumming so what does he do?!? Starts two bands and makes money on the side recording drum tracks for other musicians!

…. ew…. seeing all of that typed out is quite confronting…

The truth is, we are incredibly passionate about all of those endeavors, but over the past few months  it has become painfully clear we need to balance it with some movie nights and less invested activities… or some solution I have yet to come up with. All of this has been exacerbated in the past month by me training for the Smith Rock Ascent and Michael working long hard hours with some of society’s most oppressed and hurting people.

So this weekend we slept, cooked incredible meals, watched two movies, and talked about the future. It is so funny to me as a therapist because I had been complaining to Michael over the past week or so, “it feels like we are so disconnected from each other. I don’t like it.” Well no shit we are disconnected! Where is the time or space to reconnect??? I love catching myself in the same woes as many of my clients. I think if anything Michael and I push ourselves harder thinking since we are therapists we will see the warning signs of burnout… when just like everyone else, we are equally blind to them in our own life.

Anyway, what prompted this blog was sitting here, reading and writing in a journal (not on a laptop which I haven’t done in like a year) I was struck by two seemingly opposing feelings. One feeling says “it’s been eight days since the race, it’s probably time to run a couple miles. I want to be out on the trails again!” The other feeling says, “man, this rest feels like it is working. I am starting to dream about the future again. Maybe I should make it 10 days or two weeks off from running.” Both feel so true.

And then it occurred to me. Whose race did I run? If I am truly honest with myself and look at the past year of running, I have run more in the past twelve months than I have in my 30 years of life! I may not be winning races but 40 mile running weeks were inconceivable to me a year ago! I am realizing I have all these trail running pros I look up to and read about many of which I can hardly go a month without seeing in person around town. I think sometimes I start to think I am running their race. Which made me realize, it is easy to do that with everything today! With social media infiltrating almost every part of our lives these days, not to mention the news and television, how often are we running someone else’s race? How often are we placing standards for ourselves based entirely on someone else’s life circumstances?! Number one, I don’t have some super competitive race schedule, I am not even signed up for another race, does it really matter if I take 10 versus 14 days off? Nope. And how much of my time this morning was spent debating that instead of just being grateful for the quiet peaceful Monday that Michael and I have off together? And how many other things am I doing this with?! 

Whose race are you running? What standards have you placed on yourself based on someone else’s life? Or even harder to identify but worth asking, what standards has media covertly placed on your life?

I think I will go ponder a while longer today….

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