Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Easy For You to Say...

...one of these days,
you will forget to hope and learn to fear...
But it's all right...
Easy for you to say
Your heart has never been broken
Your pride has never been stolen
Not yet, not yet...
--Foo Fighters, "These Days"

A lot has been weighing on me in addition to the training volume as of late, and I suppose it's time to start putting that weight into words. I apologize to you if in any way you find the use of my platform here offensive.

This is the hardest time of the year for me, simply because I fall into a longing pattern. Desiring those things that I do not have; desiring for things to be different. I find myself questioning a lot of past decisions this time of the year. It's simply difficult to find that equilibrium that I thrive upon. Life is predicated on balance. It's a time where I can't seem to find that balance.

There's two primary issues on the brain as of late, and we'll talk about each in turn.

All the photographs were peeling, colors turned to gray
He stayed in his room with memories for days
He faced the undertow of future's laid to waste
Embraced by the loss of what he could not replace
There is no reason that (he) passed
And there is no God with a plan
It's sad, and the loneliness is proof it's sad
(We) could only love you, it's sad
The door swings to a passing fable
A fate we may delay
We'll say holding on delivered without an embrace
Eleven nights he laid in bed
Hoping dreams would bring (him) back
It's sad, and our loneliness is proof
It's sad, and we could only love you...
Holding his last breath
Believing it's his own way to make sure he's not forgotten
He's haunted, searching for escape...
If just one wish could bring you back, it's sent...
--Pearl Jam, "Sad"

We just passed the two year anniversary of the longest 48 hour stretch of my life. I won't go into detail about the experiences at Dana Farber, but just to say that being there for so long, the nervousness, the energy, the emotional roller-coaster. I'm trying to convey something and I'm sitting here re-riding the same thing over and over again. I can't even begin to describe it.

It makes the month of February just an absolute bear, as the weather's supposed to be turning towards the spring, towards hope. And I can't find it. Hannah and I try to celebrate Valentine's Day and it's just bringing up that fateful period a scant two years ago.

They claim that with grief, it never gets easier, you merely become better accommodated to suffer through it. Well, I suppose along with that, it's impossible not to have moments like these where you just can't "get over it."

At least here, I've been trying to pour my emotion into my training, and it's been producing something resembling results. My last CompuTrainer session at Friday Night Fights resulted in a big jump in power (300 watts for my 6.2 mile effort). And it felt like I had more in the tank, which is good to note. I just had the mental energy of feeling like, I can take all of this emotional weight, so why can't I endure just a little bit more physical intensity?

Small my table, sits just two
Got so crowded, I can't make room
Where did they come from? Stormed my room?
And you dare say, it belongs to you...
Well this is not for you...
--Pearl Jam, "Not For You"

Noticing a 90s alternative rock theme? Yeah. It's big in this household.

At any rate, I've also been staring down the barrel of my parents (potentially) having to sell the home that was their dream. The one they worked so hard for, to build, the one that took weekends for us to put together with our hands. Yeah. That one.

Couple that with feeling a little responsible for having all of the student loans in the world that they co-signed (no, none of them are in default, and they aren't paying them, Thank God) and me deciding that being a lawyer was not for me...and, well, you can imagine why I feel like garbage.

Here's the thing: I can't imagine a career that I'd be happier with, being in the running/multisport industry. I'm completely content. For anybody to question that, and wonder why I'm not an attorney, well here it is: I need to be able to wake up in the morning and be proud of what I do everyday. I get to say that. Do you? If yes, awesome. If not, what are you doing with yourself? Do you not value the time that you get to spend everyday? Why loathe your career? I'd rather be broke and get to say, "I love this job!" than have to be stuck in a position that has me crawling inside my own skin.

That's what lawyering was for me. I couldn't get around the fact that inside the walls of a courtroom, I wanted to do nothing but run away from it. I couldn't get around the fact that getting a perfectly valid admission by a client thrown out would result in victory when you have the knowledge that your client is guilty as sin. I'm not one for pissing and moaning, an element that is almost required of being a tort lawyer. So what's that leave? Not much.

So instead, I love what I do. I'm passionate. I'm, dare I say it, successful at what I do. So to have people questioning my decision...well, I don't have time for you. Sorry. I use my education in ways you couldn't even begin to imagine. But I'm not going to be a lawyer. If that's an issue for you, then sorry, game over.

Above all things if kindness is your king
Then heaven will be yours, before you meet your end.
--Dave Matthews Band, "Squirm"

Now to say thank you to the support crew that I have:

  • Family: Mom, Dad, Diane, Peter, Sean, Kylen, Rachel, Stephen, Robin, and everyone else: As much as we disagree sometimes, it's your backing and talks that have let me become the person that I am today. I can't ever thank you enough.
  • Friends: God, I can't even begin to put everybody here because I'd forget some people. But from ski days with Josh to training rides with Adam to dinners with Katy, or Sam, or beer tastings with Luke, Jake, to hanging out at Freeman's chatting and learning, etc.: these are the things that I truly value. And that friendship bears repeating.
  • Colleagues: To the entire Maine Running Company crew: it's your passion and support that lit the fire in my gut, to make me realize just how much I love working in this industry. That kick in the tail is what the doctor ordered. John, Maggie, Bill, Seth, Doug, Ben, Brandi, Jonny, and Brian: thanks.
  • Team Rev3 Triathlon: I KNOW I can't list everybody here. Because, well, I'd leave somebody off. But you guys have been a dream. The energy that I feel from you guys has left me inspired, day after day. From the whole Rev3 race crew, to MB, to all the team members, to the sponsors: just an amazing support system.

Thank you all.

Editorial Note: Got some upcoming posting's reviewing some PowerBar nutrition products, as well as a training update. But just needed to put this one out there.


Julia L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia L. said...

Ryan, this is such a great, honest post. Sometimes I know it lifts a weight just to write things out, so I hope that happened just a little bit for you. But I also hope you know you've got bundles of support from all of us Rev3ers... about everything, not just training, and numbers and power reads... despite what our twitter feeds might say:) Hoping this February lull fills its time quickly, and that March brings more smiles, a lighter heart and (as usual) quick, speedy legs.