Me and my mom at Calgary airport. I was in the final weeks of training for my first marathon. Some of my SCS students will remember me like that.
My running career ended in knee replacements. Those days are over. I did them real good.
Cooks are often driven by an outrageous need to constantly be pushing on their physical and skills capacity. Having a career in the kitchen is like being a crazy ultra-marathoner. Have you ever seen the documentary, The Barkley Marathons? The subtitle is, The Race That Eat's Its Young. Woo boy, it's insanity. Reminds me of working in the kitchen at Rundles. That should make a few of you laugh. IYKYK.
I can't write that way. It does not work. It's a whole different relationship to productivity.
Sometimes I'll hear a writer humble-brag about producing an astonishing number of words in a single sitting. What kind of fucking words, I wonder. Are we talking like Jack Nicolson in The Shining:
"All work and no play make Jack a dull boy."
Half a block. Do you know how far that is? I thought I would die those first few weeks of running.
I ran the first race within weeks of starting. It was called something like the Hilly 15. Basically, fifteen kilometres of expert-level cross-country. I was not prepared is an understatement. The medal is a testament to my will.
The nice thing about training in Stratford was the country roads and my farmer friends outside the city limits. I'd pull up to their doors sweaty, 20 or 30 km into a long run, and fill my water bottle. Do you know how good cold tap water tastes? On a sweltering day, it's three stars.
There I am, crossing the first finish line. Tired...joyful...proud...hungry...grateful. So fucking ready to stop. It rained the whole way. You can't imagine the chaffing after four hours.
Here's what I learned about taking the glory lap before the actual finish line. You don't want to do it. It's an energy suck.
Experienced writers don't talk much about what they are working on for the same reason.
Sports psychologists might disagree. They want you to believe in everlasting winning. That makes me want to lie down too. Then when you lose, you smash your racket to pieces on the court.
All week long, I had different songs lined up, and then this came up in explore mode last night and it made me feel good.
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