Saturday, February 10, 2007

Reflections of Sensitivity

During my run today, something I ate was repeating on me (that's how my Grandma Blanche used to phrase it.. 'I don't care for green peppers, they repeat on me'.. I had no idea what she was talking about at the time..) So I was wondering how I was tasting chocolate covered cherries, as I hadn't eaten any such thing that morning.. I had a delicious fresh mango and a piece of toast with marmite.. Food scientists take note.. I've discoverd the long kept secret to re-creating chocolate covered cherries! Just mix a little mango and marmite.. I then started thinking about beng vulnerable running out on the roads alone.. Not a scary kind of dangerous vulnerability, but more of an open target to bullies kind of thing.. The wind was strong, and it was more comfortable to gaze at the ground.. I was imagining the drivers passing me thinking I looked like a weirdo, and that I wasn't confident because I was looking down. I guess that's normal, as you really are vulnerable as a single runner against 2,000 lb moving vehicles. But my feelings I'm sure are not shared by every runner who takes a solo run. My anxiety (though slight, as I've done 1,000's of solo runs over the years with little negative consequence) stems from my unique insecurities that I developed as a child. Showing vulnerability was ridiculed in my upbringing. As though my family were raising a slew of soldiers in preparation for a great war. Talking with others about their sensitivities is always surprising, because our issues are so different.. It's comforting to hear that I have total confidence in the areas that they may struggle with, and vice versa. Comforting because if our issues are simply products of poor upbringing, and not concrete realities of today, we should be able to easily rid ourselves of them. That's the really amazing part. I can spill some coffee on the floor, be stressed because I now have a dirty floor, and then easily solve the problem by cleaning it up in 2 seconds. These childhood issues seem to come back no matter how many times you clean them up. One day my life is great and comfortable and I'm loved and beautiful. The next day, I'm hideous and nobody likes me and I'm stuck belching chocolate covered cherries.. But I'm really happy to find out that this is kind of how it is for all of us. I think. I really don't believe we are meant to be comfortable all the time anyway, when there is so much suffering all around us. A certain balance of both states of mind is important to be able to give compassion for others when they are struggling. I don't mean to intentionally seek out hardships. That's not even necessary, as they will naturally find you on your course of existence. I just mean to maybe recognize that struggle is an important part of the journey.


Jon said...

"...I'm hideous and nobody likes me..."

That could never be true.

We all have varying insecurities. Sometimes they show and sometimes they don't. I think what makes mine worse is the social anxiety that I suffer causes me to avoid exposure to mine. It can be crippling.

That almost sounds like a Postsecret.


Kevin said...

Tamar: Recognizing that there will be struggles in life is an important part of the journey, but on the flip side, recognizing that there will also be good times is also important. Life is a balancing act. We must look forward to and embrace the good times.

From a male perspective, I've never been worried about drivers, bullies, etc. but I imagine that would differ for females. I worry more about the weather conditions. In the summer I worry about overheating on my long runs and in the winter frost bite. On Saturday I was 40-45 minutes in to a 2+ hour out and back run wondering if I'd make it due to the wind and open area. Fortunately the wind subsided and was OK when I turned around and was able to finish the run, albeit tired.

tamar said...

jon~ you are so sweet.. thanks, again, for having my back :-)
I do feel like I can really relate to social anxiety too.. It can really make a prisoner of you.. But then it can also be analyzed away just as easily.. There are tricks for beating the beast into submission! :-)

kevin~ well, having met your father, I can see how you turned out to be such an optimist.. I know it's hard to relate to unspecified anxieties for you maybe.. I don't think it's a gender thing either.. But I can definitely appreciate that fear of freezing to death on those long Winter runs.. The secret is all in the layering! Glad your run turned out well.. I raced in the Bronx Sunday at 8 am.. Pretty darn cold, but it didn't stop nearly 3,000 New Yorkers from abandoning their cozy beds for the frigid 19 degree event..

Kevin said...

Tamar: Good job and congratulations on doing the 1/2 this past Sunday in the Bronx. 7:30 miles at this point in the year is very good. Must have been an early start for you to get there for an 8am race. I ran at around the same time on Sunday and it was pretty chilly.

Jon said...

Thanks Tamar, I try some of the tricks, but I find there are truly times when I just want to be alone. Then I feel kind of guilty about it later. Weird huh?

tamar said...

kevin~ thanks! I was working to keep those 7:30 miles, too.. are oyu doing any city races this year?

jon~ being alone is GREAT.. I feel guilty when I'm in the company of others; it disturbs my zen time.. :-)

Kevin said...

tamar: I just put my celebrate life 1/2 app in the mail today. I won't be doing wurtsboro 30K as they moved it up and if conflicts with a local 15K. Hope to do the Goshen 10K again this year and we'll see what the rest of the summer brings. I really like the scenic Goshen 10K course.

What's next for you?

Speaking about being alone, I do most of my running alone. I find it much easier to schedule, I can go at my own pace and select my own course and I enjoy the serenity and peacefullness of being by myself. I'm not opposed to running with others, but generally it doesn't work out for me.

Jon said...

Prior to a get together with people I always wonder why I am going... thinking "they probably don't even care if I show up". Then I go and have a great time. Why does my inner voice mess with me like this?

Jon said...

knock! knock! Missing you