Tuesday, March 20, 2012

End of Winter Ennui: What's Next?

I've been working on the anxiety thing the past week.  Still not quite right, but I have felt less anxious and more able to breathe the last couple of days.  I just need to relax and focus on getting things done.  Obviously, the running has suffered the past couple of weeks, and I still have that thesis (the one I should have written two years ago) that sure could use my attention.  I am also formulating some plans for racing, adventuring, and just generally being outside.  I am trying to rectify what my life is with what I want my life to be. 

I've felt trapped the past couple of months, and I don't really know why.  That has fed the anxiety.  I am keenly aware that after nearly 29 years on this earth, I still have no clue what it is I want to do.  I'm wondering if I'll ever know.  And what I'm trying to do is get comfortable with maybe never knowing.  Who the hell says you have to lock into one thing and go with it forever? 

I think things changed for me about a month ago when I spent a couple of nights partaking in the Banff Film Festival.  Two nights of films of people pushing the limits, pursuing their dreams, living outside the box of society made me want to ditch my possessions and take off for the hills.  However, as a member of this society, I feel some anxiety and pressure to conform.  I think social media exacerbates this feeling.  With things like Facebook, we are all keenly aware of what the majority of our peers are doing with their lives.  And most of mine are pursuing careers, getting married, buying houses and cars, having children, and then there is me, and I have none of those things.  And what I am attempting to balance within myself is the desire for those things, because that does exist on some level, with the fact that at this point in my life, I truly don't want those those things, nor am I in a position where I feel like I would even be able to have those things.

I want to explore, to make something meaningful out of my life, but I wonder what that could be and if it even really matters.  Perhaps it's merely the pursuit, the journey that's important.  Much too early to be concerned with the destination.  That was pretty damned cliche.

All this was a lead-up to what has been on my mind concerning the kind of running I want to do.  Since the beginning of the year, I have found that I was running in much the same way as I have always run: miles on flat pavement in town with a focus on building some speed.  But why?  I'm not interested in racing on the track or the roads.  What I need is time on my feet in the mountains.  But, I've been thinking that what I want is more than simply trail running.  While absolutely fun, I think my focus does not need to be squarely on running.  I want to climb mountains, boulder, hike, camp, backpack, snow shoe, etc.  I want to get into the woods and do anything, everything.  I want to run and if I see some cool rock formation, I want to climb it.  I want to spend multiple days with a 50-pound pack touring the countryside.  I want to look at peaks on the horizon and then climb them.  I want to set up a base camp and make forays into the wilderness from there.  I want to be outside!

Maybe this is all just a big pipe dream, and we'll see if I actually have the wherewithal to do it, but with this spring weather beginning to roll in, I just have this itch that needs scratched.

And hopefully, by doing some of those things, I can chill the hell out.

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