I was a fighter. I was a goal setter, a rule follower, a planner. I could follow a training plan like nobody’s business. I could set aside rest, celebration, life, in order to accomplish. I could hang with the best of them in discipline. I was a fighter.
Yesterday, I looked around and discovered my fight left, probably for good. Fight has been on it’s way out the door for awhile, I have been unwilling to own this. I haven’t wanted to recognize my will, my heart, my mind no longer care to fight for the fight. We need to break up.
When in Gunnison, I have a specific route I like to run. I warm up for a mile and half along County Road 10 where I gather my gumption and confidence before turning onto 743, an undulating dirt road that winds mostly up. I can choose to go as far as I want, depending on how many miles I need to get in that particular day. I usually set my mind to run the whole thing, to not stop and walk.
Yesterday, my mental and physical resolve decided to stay at the house, lingering at home with a cup of coffee and warm stove. The once latent pain in my back was knocking on the door of acceptable comfort, legs each holding a 10 pound weight. Usually, I can fight, I can scrap, I can set aside discomfort and fatigue to plow ahead, to force my way to worthiness.
Fight has learned to take advantage of me, she can tackle me down in my weakness and insecurity. She knows when and how to elevate herself, through my comparing.
But our relationship hasn’t always been like this, we had a lovely thing going…
She taught me so much about who I am, about what I can accomplish when mind and body are put to the test. She led me through training for and completing nine marathons, an Ironman, and countless other races and adventures. She brought me through a wonderful education, long days and nights of three blessed babies, marital challenges, tragedy. What a gift she has been to me. Fight has helped me to overcome, to be brave, to stand firm while fear nearly ate away my resolve, to move beyond status quo and achieve. I am so grateful to her for revealing my dogged determination, for beckoning me out of bed for early training and studying bouts, relentlessly calling to do more, be better. She has truly been a gift, revealing me to myself, my capabilities, my capacity.
Unfortunately, Fight doesn’t show up alone. At first, she appears strong, powerful. She is admired and envied. She produced things in me that proved my worth, elevated my standing (at least to me, in my eyes). But after awhile, Fear made an entrance. When Fight and Fear are paired in tandem, a perfect storm forms of striving and proving. Fear is a contender, a game-changer, diabolical almost. Fear is nonsensical, doesn’t back down easily. Fear/Fight took over my kindhearted nature and drew me into believing ridiculous, inane lies. Fear marked itself as Pride, Worthlessness, Shame, fanning the flame of what once was a wonderful accomplishment, into a drive, a need for more, better, more than, better than. Fight can become an addiction when in the context of Fear. This addiction can become the relentless draw to Next…the next race, the next diet, the next goal to prove worth…to rise above, to be noticed.
Fight and Fear are being ushered out while I welcome Strength, Discipline, Wisdom. Instead of scrapping and proving and rising above, I want to settle in. I want to live with Strength of character; with Discipline to accomplish lasting, sustainable things; with Wisdom to know when to buckle down and when to let go. I want to rest in me being enough without Fight, without the pursuit of more and better. I want to rejoice in witnessing others rise higher, accomplishing greater. I want to be a cheerleader, in the arena, okay with sacrificing standing and admiration. I want to be side by side, arm in arm with fellow humanity, championing causes, righting wrongs, and loving severely in the darkest and fiercest of times. I want to say goodbye to being better, more, better than, more than. It is time to hang up the boxing gloves. It is guaranteed my pride and ego will take more hits as a result, maybe beaten to a bloody pulp.
It’s fine with me. I’m ready. They haven’t served me much lately.