I'm a woman divided. Torn between two loves, one steadfast and true, the other new and exciting. Does my desire for the new have to diminish my love for the old? Is it not possible for them both to exist in my heart equally?

This July will mark my 4th full year running. In 2005, I ran my very first 5K race and never looked back. I had always been a gym-goer, but my workouts were unfocused. With running came the structure I so sorely needed - I kept a running log, tracked my mileage and watched my race times get faster and faster. I conquered new distances and found within myself a strength I never knew existed. While I realized that I would never win a race, I reveled in the knowledge that for once, what I would get out of something was directly proportionate to what I put in. If I did the work I'd get the reward. I was in love.

And then I discovered the amazing joy that comes from lifting something really, really heavy. Over and over again, heavier and heavier, until your body turns to goo and rebels on what seems to be a cellular level. Covered in sweat with muscles vibrating from the effort you've just expended, and relishing every minute of it. And amazingly enough, I found that I was somewhat good at it. That, given enough time and effort, I could actually be competitive should I so desire. And I do desire - hard work doesn't scare me, and the idea of flourishing and excelling and (yes, I'll admit it) winning something is incredibly attractive.

I want them both. I want to get faster and stronger. I want to run ultras and pull a triple body weight dead lift. I want to reach my genetic potential for VO2 max and natural muscle development. I want to have my cake and eat it too.

But at every turn I'm told that I can't. People much smarter than I tell me that it's impossible, that I will not be able to excel in both of them - that one of them will have to go, be relegated to an accessory activity. They back it up with scientific mumbo jumbo. I believe them on an intellectual level, but my heart just won't listen.

So here I stand, a woman facing an age old dilemma - which suitor do I choose? They both court me with passion and determination. They both make my heart race and my body hum. Neither is perfect, everything comes with a trade off. But if I made a list of pros and cons, they'd both come out equal.

Is it so bad to want it all? To want an open relationship of sorts?

For now, I'm going try. I'll live my life in duality, and see if I can't prove them all wrong. So if you see me out lifting, do me a favor and don't tell my running sneakers - I have a feeling they just won't understand.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What's on your mind?