My cat is a huge inspiration. He is also a jerk. But let’s talk about the former, shall we folks?
But first, some background on my miracle-kitty:
2 months ago, my cat went missing. A coyote was spotted in our neighborhood, so we were certain he was puppy chow (not to be confused with the powdered sugar-crack that one nasty friend brings to sleepovers…you, missy, ruined any self restraint I thought I had). Anyhoo, we thought the cat was dead, sad. My grandmother, who was a big advocate for animal rights (as she fostered not only children, but animals as well, throughout her life) died on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, someone found our cat. As we were heading to my grandmother’s funeral, someone called, saying that they found him (place a chip in your animals, people!). He had been hit by a car, leaving one of his hind legs hanging off of his body like tacky-dangly earrings. But he is alive. 3 legs, 2 eyes, and one pissed-off expression.
Miracle cat, am I right? Thanks grandma.
^he does not want to be hugged or photographed but here I am, doing both.
Anyway, my cat is a huge inspiration. Sure, he survived being struck by a vehicle, but there is something even more astonishing about him. He has maintained his athleticism.
Today, I did a treadmill-workout where I did 1 up-4 at goal marathon pace-1 down. In a former, more scary running life of mine, this workout would have been considered a “recovery run” for me. But alas, this workout kicked my bootay; I wanted to quit a million times (but didn’t) and had some major heat-issues (that basement gets steamy…carpets.). I felt good about myself, toughing it out and investing in the run, but afterwards I felt a bit sad/peeved. I feel like a shadow of my former self, the person that had her self-worth in running and as a result, ran 100% of her runs off of sheer adrenaline and fear. Not a sustainable way to live, but boy, could I cook it.
^a conversation I have with my legs when we are taking a nice trip on the struggle-bus
I thought about this and reminded myself that I have to be kind to my brain and my body, trusting in the process and not comparing two different versions of myself without considering the full story. The full story is, I was unhappy, too thin (for me), too overworked, isolated, and petrified of running, back then. Now, I am happy to run, and still investing in tough workouts, scary races, annoying recovery runs, and proper fueling. But still, the competitive part of me wants to know I will still be able to game when the time comes. I don’t settle, I just don’t. Even if I nailed some nasty workout or ran a great race, I would still never be satisfied/think I am that great. But that is another blog for another time…
^me, when I am writing…what was I talking about again?
Anyway, I thought about this want and then I thought about this amazing thing my cat did the night before. You see, my cat in his time away from home, got super thin because hello, he was in the wilderness. Bear Grills style, folks. Well, now he is always hungry and would eat the bowl if he could. So, my mom decided to place it on a high shelf because we thought hey, 3 legged cats can’t jump 3 feet in the air anymore.
That little guy jumped up onto the ledge, with 3 legs and one victory meow. He is definitely not in the same cat-shape he was in the past, but he still did that amazing thing. He really wanted that bowl, guys.
^this image has nothing to do with the post but it is funny so there we are, there we are.
Guys, I really want that bowl. Not a time (though certain times would be nice), not a mileage (though time on my feet is important), not a pace (though I still want to know I can drop it like it’s how from time to time), but a journey. I want to expand beyond what I thought I was capable of. I want to stand up, not shrink behind the allusion that pain is a bad thing, therefore giving me the right and duty to quit. I want to do distances that scare me, because bravery is cultivated in the trenches. I want to push past those limits I thought were there, because allusions are best debunked with science and a whole lot of faith in the methods. I nailed a workout today that was void of my self-worth, pushed me past my perceived limit, and will only make me better.
I may be a different version of myself from almost a year ago, but my cat showed me that you can still get that bowl with 3 legs.
Maybe that 4th leg is fear. Maybe it is placing my self worth in anything but who I am. Maybe it is getting unsustainably light. Maybe it is resisting rest.
Whatever it is, we can drop that leg we thought we needed and still get that bowl.
We just have to want it enough.