10 Aug Potatoes With Legs
This story is not just the story of potatoes with legs though. I just wanted to title it that, because that title & irksome attitude has been stuck in my head for too long. This is sort of like a journal of my running. Doing the Haruki Murakami thing. It helps to see your progress & journey as you go ahead. The process is just as important as the goal.
Every day when I am running, I come across these potatoes with legs on the way. You know, the people who are there doing their slow walking or whatever they call it but can’t budge the slightest when they see me running, breaking a sweat. They like to move in a linear way, at a pre-programmed pace, with the rest of their sense organs & perceptions switched off, such that when their eyes see a human being running at a feverish pace, their brains simply don’t tell their butts and legs to move and give way and not hog up the entire trail. I call them potatoes with legs. They are the ones who are otherwise slouching on a couch in their homes or in office chairs in their offices and have absolutely nothing to do with any physical workout except that morning walk which is as much to break their monotony as the “goody goody feeling” that they are doing something every day to lift their asses and get them some movement. They are too slow, both literally and figuratively, to cognize that if the idea is to get some movement, they should be able to move to give another human being space on the trail.
These are people across all age groups. I’m not at all referring to people with disabilities or other issues. Nope. These are couples and friend groups too busy bonding in their walk. Well do your fucking bonding after giving me passage. I’d like to bond with myself, please.
These people have probably never run even a single km in their whole lives. If they had, they’d know that you simply can’t train for long distance running if you have to stop every few meters for potatoes whiling away their time on a trail.
My way of dealing with such people is: move or you will be moved.
If they don’t give me way, I just keep going until they have no other option. If I have to barge into them for it, so be it. I never have to, though. Because people know what to do when a wagon is going to hit them.
I never have this trouble with other runners on the trail. Even if they are temporarily walking, they will never stand in your way. That says a lot about the mindset difference between walking and running. The awareness level is different.
I have been having the feeling that I am coming down with a flu for the past 3 days. But I still keep up my running in the morning. Even though I feel a bit ill when I wake up. It’s my way of dealing with that shit. I have also had a stomach upset for the last 10 days. It has gotten way, way better now. But I do still feel a bit sick in the morning. Which is why I need half hour to 45 minutes from the time I wake up to the time I hit the track. Those are some of the most important 45 minutes of the day because apart from fixing my bodily issues, I also try to fight my crippling low mood & thoughts that want me to give up on life altogether. Yes, it is a part of life. There is life, there is enthusiasm & fire for life, and there is the crippling sense of purposelessness which makes you wonder what is the point of doing anything. It all exists and all needs to be balanced, every day. As long as there is light, there is also the dark. We struggle because we want the dark to just disappear. Or atleast I do, I don’t know if anyone else does. But it only makes sense. If I am everything and everything is me, then how can I remove low moods from me entirely? If I am the microcosm of this macrocosm, everything has to exist, and has to be faced, dealt with.
I also realized that when I am too much at peace, no anger, nothing, I find it hard to fire myself up in my run. I know this probably doesn’t make much sense, but you do need a little anger to push yourself, to challenge your limits, to give it the fuel it needs. Agitation and anger are two different things. Unfortunately, people confuse the two and use them interchangeably. Without any anger, any fighting energy, you would end up being a lump. People who lecture me to not get “offended” or “outraged” by the nonsensical things happening in the world, don’t understand that the wiring doesn’t allow for both: to be seriously, genuinely fighting a war and not bothering about idiotic things. The two don’t go together. I don’t rub my nose in it, that is the way I deal with it. Because it is not in me to not get angered by such pukeworthy stuff. That is the Kshatriya wiring, I presume. I know I have been a kshatriya before, in my previous janmas, but I don’t remember the wiring exactly. But I’m pretty sure I am a toned-down version of the warrior princess I once was.
I have been eating with no holds barred last few days. I feel fat. Not that I can actually be fat. I burn more fuel than I take in. But I feel weird. I have been in the practice of eating only one or maximum 1.5 or two meals per day. Eating three full meals every day is feeling strange. But I had to do it. You can’t run for 1-2 hrs every day and expect to just run on one bowl of rice. A few days ago I was having bad shooting pains. So I increased my uptake of electrolytes & Vitamin D. And food and water. Funniest bit is that I was perfectly fine as long as I was doing Nirahara Samyama. Best food is no food – taking nutrition just from the air! Mahadeva’s system. But since I didn’t continue with that, I need to do the rigorous task of actually eating.
Run. Cook. Eat. Sleep. Write. Repeat.
That’s what it is like now. That’s all I do nowadays. It’s a good life.
It was difficult to run today. I felt like I am carrying my body, instead of my body carrying me. It brought me face to face with another pet peeve I have had: deadlines. The idea of running the half marathon triggers something in me, and it is not pleasant. It is the idea that this is somehow a task now, rather than my daily morning pleasurable run. But the moment I move past it, I feel like I can pull some hidden strength from inside depths of me, to put in the push I need to keep up my record. I cannot back down. Somewhere at midpoint, my leg was killing me. I would have gone back home normally. But I decided: if nothing else, I will just walk, or crawl. But I am just not going back. I decided to do this, and do this I will. Doesn’t matter how. I needed more breath work. And I definitely had to do something about my leg. It’s been hurting for a week now.
I kept going, and I could finish. The second half was not as bad, to be honest. The first half was tougher. Maybe because I was burning all that fat I had accumulated in my previous meal. Or calories. I don’t know, having lived like a hermit for a long time, any reasonable amount of food feels like fat to me now. My tummy feels weird if it’s anything other than razor flat.
Somewhere in the last one km, while I was trying to figure out how to keep my pace, it dawned on me, out of nowhere: we are already free from everything we are struggling to break away from. All attachment is voluntary. So is all detachment.
To get the next level breakthrough in anything, it is not just actions or practice or grit that is needed. What is needed is a melt down of your identity. Your identity needs recreation. Because even your identity is just something you choose. It has no corporeal existence. You are not bound by your identity. It is far deeper than just changing your cognitions about denials and self doubt and doubting others. It is the idea of you that needs change. As long as I think of myself as someone who is jinxed or who can’t identify with some achievement or fulfillment I want in life, I build barriers between myself and that fulfillment. That is where the real work was needed. The struggles are just a reminder to do this.
As long as I think of myself as someone who has so many health conditions, someone who can run only so much, I will face struggles. The moment I start thinking of myself as someone who really do a half marathon, the struggles are no longer struggles. They are milestones.
This is where the priceless moment from Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban struck a cord. Harry couldn’t produce the patronus charm as long as he didn’t really believe he can do it. But the moment he realized that he had already produced it in the near future, a few hours down the line, that the moment had already happened, he immediately could do it. It made a lot of sense. Just the idea of you needs to change.
I did some intense yoga. While doing yoga I realized why my one leg was paining so badly while the other was just fine. My gait has always been slightly off. It was just never a big deal so I never cared. I realized this while scanning from third eye. The weight doesn’t get distributed evenly in both the legs. So one leg is taking more weight and the other is taking much lesser weight. I need to correct my running form. Else one leg will keep paining indefinitely. So that should solve that problem. With all my health problems, this wasn’t bad at all. It means I’m healing, and healing fast. People always like to make a big deal out of your ailments and don’t know how to respond to your tiny achievements. But the everyday small victories matter just as much as the final thing. In fact, they matter more to you, the person. The final achievement matters more to others, the people.
Below is my running playlist which keeps me pumping. 😊