Monday, March 24, 2008

A Metaphor, maybe.

I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish in my running lately. A week or so ago, as I was out, I decided that I needed to kick it up a notch. In cross-country we would do “intervals” once a week to increase our speed and help keep us from plateauing. When I’m training for something big, I like to add intervals to my routine, but all I am trying to do at present is avoid those times when you slip from normal comfortable pace to slow haggard pace. Generally this happens on hills, so I decided to use proper form and kick it into gear on the hills. Not to kill myself, mind you, it’s just that occasionally there is a very fine line between sluggish and slow, and fairly quick, and I notice that most often on hills. So, my goal lately has been to resist the temptation to barely stumble up hills (which are VERY plentiful here), rather, to bring my arms more in synch with my legs, lift them a little higher and lift my legs a little more in the proper hill running technique. It was this very thing, just kicking it into gear enough – not to necessarily go faster, but to maintain when it’s rough – that gave me an edge in many a cross country race and I hope that at present it will help push me past my rut.

As I was running up a fairly long hill today, it occurred to me that there might be some way this related to real life. Some sort of a metaphor that I couldn’t quite articulate (after all, I was “kicking it up a notch” on a fairly long hill – plus, I think you have to be talking to “articulate”, so maybe I mean some type of a metaphor I couldn’t quite formulate?), perhaps something about trials or times of spiritual plateau? Maybe something about that fine line between being sluggish and actually doing quite well? I’m not sure. I’m just leaving it here in case anyone else can make something useful out of it.

P.S. I also have always been quite successful at using the easy down hills to my advantage, though that is less about work and more about totally going with the hill . . . metaphor there? I’m really too tired. Goodnight.

14 comments:

marzee said...

Thanks Nancy. I've been feeling sluggish and a bit down the last couple of days - and needed a reminder about kickin' it up a notch. But - what do you do when you don't feel like you have the willpower to kick it? Pray - Fast. (That's what HF just said in my mind - he likes to plug his two cents in - when I'm paying attention). Still - pray, fast - isn't it just easier to go to sleep? Won't that solve everything (me like sleep)? Praying and fasting sounds like work. grr. Work, work, work - and then you die - and work for all eternity. Sorry - I'm being a bum. Someone call the counselor!!! "Bum woman in the candy isle!" (you know, sugar, chocolate, oooo - ice cream - maybe that's better than sleep?). "Bum woman in the Freezer section!"
Out of the freezer Marz - go kick it up a notch!

Nancy said...

Yah, Marz, I'm tired (and willing to eat loads of candy), perhaps we should go with developing the down hill metaphor -- something about just coastin' along with the hill . . . aahhhh . . . relaxing (I loved your comment 'cause it sounded like a late night sleepy comment should).

Gracie J said...

Hmmm...I'm wondering if using this metaphor means I'm spirtually stagnant, seeing as how I haven't been running in about 15 years and I dread it? I tend to like a good plateau. A really good song about plateaus, by the way, is Ryan Adams "Easy Plateau." Not to be confused with Brian Adams and any of this crappy music.

P.S. I like your blog best (don't tell my sisters) because you actually comment back to the commentors, which is nice for people like me who don't happen to have their own BLOOOOOGGG.

Nancy said...

HAHA!! Jokes on you, your precious sister now sometimes reads my blog, so she will now see your traitorous comment! Hahaha!!

P.S. I only say somethin' back when I'm feelin extra sassy, so just know you can feel proud you inspired a little sass!!

Tash said...

I love how you can still run and do! I try a bit but 20 min is about my limit right now...But spring is coming and its beautiful...Yeah spiritual plateaus it is true the people who do spiritual intervals on purpose are stronger for the races of life. (Not talking about myself)

Perla said...

i think natasha hit it on the nose as far as this metaphor is concerned. it is okay to just keep running. and sometimes that is all that we can do. but when you realize that you have plateau-ed and something is telling you that you need to do a little more--that is when you really need to kick it up a notch to be able to prepare yourself for the bigger challenges--that is when you need to do an extra fast for somebody you love or just because of something that you have been thinking you need to improve or whatever, or you take extra time studying the answer to a gospel question or topic, or you challenge yourself to pray "with all the energy of you heart" or one of those things. those are important and good and should be done. but we all have to remember, too, that sometimes it is enough to just keep running, even if it is a really slow, sluggish pace, up a really, really hard hill. yikes. that suddenly made me about cry. hang in there, marzee!

marzee said...

Hey - and BTW - what's the deal with those hills that are mazes - you know - the ones where it's uphill and you have no idea which way you're suppose to go? I thought mazes were supposed to be done in cornfields - on plains - in good old flat fields. What's the deal with the winding paths that go uphill? Anybody else know what I'm talking about here ('cause I'm suddenly confused) - Ha! (Thanks "perla" - no big - just one of those wacky weekends - and no, it's not PMS - those symptoms are far from my biological capabilities).
But really - direction is one of the hardest things for me - understanding promptings - inspiration - what to do - what to do? Why oh why can't all things just be in black and white - I'm afraid my impressions only come in on fuzzy gray. Grrrr.
(Is this pre-mid life crisis? - I'm turning 27 life crisis? Sounds like I need a blog to vent. Sorry Nanc - I'll stop monopolizing yours. Hee hee.) I think I need to fast faster.

Nancy said...

Good stuff Shan and Tash and the rest of ya' alls. Perhaps I will sponsor a "life metaphor" contest now and again (what does that mean I will "sponsor" it?? I don't know, it just sounded good) where I will give some random thing like "running up a hill" and you all must come up with the winning application.

Marz, as to your mazes, here is one thing I liked that my mom told me once. I'd been complaining that I could never get a long term answer as to where I am headed, what my end course in a certain situation should be, etc. Some people seem like that is more the type of answer they get. She wisely told me something like, "well, maybe the Lord doesn't want you to take the straightest quickest course towards . . . whatever" She said that for some people or some situations the answer sometimes might be "get here" and they have to do all they can to get there and other times He knows that if he told you "get here", you'd do just that, head straight there, but maybe he needs you to take some detours getting there to learn this or that. I don't know if that makes sense, but I've often felt I get very few clear far ahead answers (more blind mazes) and I think sometimes it is so I take the twisting off course route that teaches me just what he wants before I get to where He wants.

Now that's crazy talk.

Oh, by the way, I love that you said you need to fast "faster". Also, I just thought I'd clarify that when Marzee said it is not biologically possible for her to have PMS it is not that she is a man!!

Melissa, Ryan and Addy said...

I feel so disappointed that my sister has betrayed me!

Nancy said...

Don't feel bad Melissa, she has betrayed us all many many times. In fact she betrayed me only last night when she allowed me to continue talking to her on the phone even though I was at the grocery store -- causing me to drop both a yogurt and a bagel on the store floor!!

Lover of Sweets said...

Cool post. Ok, Nancy, I am answering your Webkinz question on your comments because I don't really believe that people ask a question and then expect to get an answer. I think this is very disconcerting; if I asked someone a question in their comments area I would hope and pray that they would answer me back right there, but I just don't think that we live in that kind of world, even though more than anything, I wish we did.

Webkinz, Webkinz, Webkinz....ok, DO get one for Daisy for her birthday if you want her to want to be on the computer 24/7 playing games on Webkinz world trying to earn money to buy furniture for her pet's room or money for groceries so that when she visits Chef Gazpacho she will have the ingredients to make his delicious recipes for her pet or to take her pet to the arcade and play Zingo's Bulleye Batter; which happens to be the easiest way to earn money, but don't let Daisy overlook Goober's Lab, because although confusing it can be quite rewarding...you can win furniture...sofas or TVs.
Now all this goofy info. came from my super-obsessed Nonigirl who now owns 7 thanks to the "Esater Bunny". They are stuffed animals that come with a special code where they can go to webkinzworld.com and adopt their pet and take care of it , and in the words of Nonigirl: "Learn to be responsible". So there you have it.
Don't get a Webkinz for Daisy if you want her to be the most unpopular kid in your state.

marzee said...

No - not a man - LOL - thanks for the clarification Nanc.

Gracie J said...

I am evil, evil!!! I induce bagel dropping and refuse to say "goodbye" during telephone conversations. Lest you think my sister is an angel, she is a cookie dough Nazi, so she deserves some amount of betrayl for that alone.

marzee said...

And Nancy, thank you - I was taking in all you said - and liked it. I'm adding our blog conversation to my journal tonight - because it just means that much to me. It really is helpful when you respond on this thing. You're inspiring women . . . one post at a time ;). Hee hee! Way to go Nanc!

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