Wednesday, August 4, 2010

there's just life

So let's just focus on running. Not running races or setting PR's but simply recognizing and acknowledging that I have accomplished the impossible. I am the most ordinary person the most unliking athletic success story. I fail to meet any criterion for sucess except I am relentless.
I was a child and adolescent who smoked cigarettes and abused my system.  In fact the only stability I had in high school, the only success, was in singing. I sang in every group and competition available. I made all state choir two years (NY All-State) and sadly got bumped from All-easterns by junior with the same score (I was a sophmore) All-Easterns is only held every other year. I sang the National Anthem at my high school graduation taking home the National Choral Award accolade. I gave up singing in college to punish myself or my parents it's not clear. The only place you'll find me vocalizing now is in the church at the direction of Mother Raphaella and perhaps to the dismay of listening parishoners.
So I mention all this for several reasons: first I believe most people struggle with their purpose, identity, relationships, their work, and fail to acknowledge and embrace fully and completely the progress and transformation when it does happen. In full the spirit of honest diclosure I mention how I struggle balance all this celebration with my abrasive tone and def con 5 approach to parenting. I have become what I loath in many ways; initially fearful that my children will who are unspoiled and pure, might get messy.
I have never thought it easier or realistic to think  there is some emotional "White-Out" like pixi dust available to put distance between me and my moments of defeat and sin. I know that despite what progressives are telling our children about the only consequences to grave errors in judgement are the ones imposed by a judgmental conservative group or class; it is a lie from the devil. I have not found that in my ordinary life.
Judgment and condemnation have almost always come at my own hand. This idea that the past is of no consequence is an inane and damaging concept. I don't suggest floundering about drowning with regret but lamenting your mistakes or errors as they live with you and are as much a testament to who you are as your successes. Memory eternal is not relegated to only slivers of personhood.
Interrupting patterns of defeat and destitution, the loneliness and isolation, the personal neglect and dereliction comes only when you insert initially what is a artificial a new pattern of behavior and thought process which over time through the heavy hand of persistence and consistency will fertilize the good in you.
Sweat equity goes a long way because it does demonstrate a willingness a determination, fortitude, endurance and stamina. Will running make you rich? Not in a hocus pocus kind of way but it will change you in ways you never imagined and at times it will feel like the only life line. When I actively trained at the dojo many parents who would watch instead of train didn't much see the value for themselves. Spending two-four nights a week for 6 years did more then train me as martial artist. It made many other things possibilities like running and being prepared for brain surgery and just getting my stuff done. Not to mention being a role model for the kids who are themselves black belts.  Theophani is a second degree and by her 18th birthday she will be probably be ready for her Son Don 3rd Degree. Stavro-nikitas is also Second Degree (Ni Dan).
By the way for everyone who would prefer to dismiss the efforts of athletes in general I would ask what kind of consequence or result do you think would come from a person who spends 2-4 times a week at happy hour or 2-3 hours a weeks drinking with friends? There are impacts and consequences for all of our behavior. The beauty of the system is picking which result you want and then behaving in like manner. Wishful thinking doesn't get your there. It never has for me.
p.s. the great and wonderous saints of our church did spend their lifetimes in regret for the time before their conversion and recognized the sorrowful tears of remorse beneficial to one's soul.

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