Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting Back Up

This posting is dedicated to Clyde and Alan who have been a constant source of inspiration and the ability to put a smile on my face.  I guess I can relate to both of them since we all came to a realization that we need to make some serious changes in our lives.  Clyde and Alan are having some struggles of their own right now and maybe a few of the rest of you are as well.  Let me share something with you.

Saturday I went on a hike.  If you have followed this blog at all, you know I enjoy getting out and hiking.  We have so many beautiful places to go and I enjoy the challenge of them all.  This hike was different however.
 Even though I saw sites as beautiful as this I soon lost my appreciation of the hike.
Early on in the hike
It could have been a number of things.  I was just finishing up a recovery week from my half marathon last Saturday.  I only got 5 hours sleep.   I ran a long run the day before.  It has been hotter than normal the past week.  And for this part of the country, it was muggy as well.  I haven't sweat that much in a long time and even though I had plenty to drink and enough to keep me fueled, I realized I wouldn't be making it to the Cascade Saddle as I had planned.  It wasn't because I didn't have time, I was because I was exhausted after four miles and a lot of climbing.  I felt like I did when I started out a couple of years ago.  The only difference was that I had gone four miles instead of a quarter of a mile.  Still I was defeated!  Those four miles back to the car took forever.

Even though I knew how far I had come, I felt like a failure when I climbed back into the car to go back home.  I haven't felt like this in a long time.  I had been knocked down for sure.  Maybe the stumble started when I didn't finish the half marathon in the time I had hoped.

So what to do.  Going home, getting something to eat and soaking my tired legs helped.  I took it easy the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go to a family reunion on my wife's side.  It always cheers me up to see them.  I got a few compliments since they haven't seen me in a while and several of them are runners as well.  It's funny how much I not only like to run, but also talk about it as well.  What a running nerd I've become!

A good night's sleep helped as well.  I realized as I got up, that I was a bit weary in the body, but I was recovering quickly.  No limping and no getting back into bed.  I was ready for the day.  I went to church and things were looking and feeling better.

This morning I got up and went out for a three miler.  I made sure this was the  recovery run it was meant to be.  I came home, stretched and got cleaned up, had a healthy breakfast and headed to work.

How am I feeling now?  Still a bit discouraged, but I got back up after the knock down and kept on going.  Do I always bounce back this quick?  No, but we all need to keep the perspective that our knock down times are not going to last forever.  We need to do what we can to get back up, be patient with ourselves and never, ever, give up.  Don't give up and turn back towards where you came from just because your having a rough time.  Catch your breath, get your bearings and get back up as quick as you can.  You have come further than you realize.   Keep moving forward!

Hang in there and I will too.


  1. Dad, you are amazing. I am so glad to hear you not letting dissapointments stop you. I know when I have bad days it is easy for me to say to myself why do I even try. But then like you I think of how I use to be and where I have come in just a year. I know it will not always be easy, but it is better than the alternative. I love you and am so happy for all the gaols you have met so far and the goals that you have for your self. You can do it. Keep it up.

  2. Bruce, thanks for writing this post with Clyde and I in mind. I just read Dirk Hayhurst's blog post about being released as a professional ballplayer. I don't think you're into baseball, but he's a talented writer who just happens to pitch borderline well enough to make the majors. Anyway, his closing line is that he can handle what comes next, because if he learned one thing from pitching, it was the importance of being able to pick yourself up after a defeat and get back on track. So you're right up there with Dirk. Good company.