Peak Thoughts

I'm trying to imagine being ready to run up a mountain. But I have no frame of reference for this.

So instead I imagine: Am I ready to run a marathon? Could I run downtown and home this weekend? Could I do 20 miles worth of stair repeats? Could I run the hills out west and then run them again? Yes. I would be beaten up and brutalized. But I could.

I have no way to know if I'm underprepared. This is a good thing. It is a good skill to pick up, becoming comfortable with not knowing what might happen.

I expect I will hurt a lot. I won't be able to breathe and my legs will likely feel like sacks of concrete. It is funny how feelings can pass. You just keep moving and sometimes your body and brain shift to the new normal.

My brain is doing something annoying today however. It is saying: "Look around you at the athletes you know. Look how much stronger their bodies are, how much more experience they have. They could run up a mountain. What makes you, in this body, think you can possibly really do this?" And then I get a little scared.

I get scared, not of the pain or of failing, but of being blind to my own hubris. Of the feeling of emotional vertigo, perception of reality suddenly being exposed as false. But here's the thing. We create our reality as we go. Reality isn't the path; it's the footprints.

So this is all right and in balance. No matter what. And on the placid surface of that cake, this icing: I could run a half marathon this weekend without even eating breakfast first. In this body, I could do that.

I feel so grateful for this I can hardly stand it. It's all cake now.