I am sitting on the back porch after a long, but productive day at the U. I am enjoying a bowl of "sagebrush" tinctured burley leaf in my pipe at the moment. Sagebrush is a blend that has a rustic sort of odor, a little like a campfire with a hint of vanilla. I am letting the dog out to do her "business" while I sit here and relax some.
Running (jogging) three of my five miles in the early morning is quite helpful for me. Not only does it relax me, in the morning it also helps me feel more alert as well. And, even if nothing else goes well when I get to work, I still feel decent that I accomplished that run.
I went across town before I came home today to visit the cemetery. It was what would be my parent's 70th wedding anniversary. On the journey there, I passed by my old high school, and looked at the track and football field. As a chubby, fat kid, I remember the track being a source of embarrassment and shame for me. In the mandatory gym class I had there when I was 13 (freshman year, and yes I was on the young side), I remember feeling like a huge failure because I was so big and so slow that I failed the coaches requirement for the class that we run a mile on the track in a certain time that I could not meet. It was my worst high school grade I ever received. For a lot of years, I shied away from doing any sort of "sport" because I was such a failure. It took a helluva lot of years for me to figure out that I did not need to accept that failure as a definition of who or what I was physically. When I looked across that track today, I consciously realized just then, how, these many, many decades later, I now could accomplish that mile on that modest track, and do so
fairly easily. It does not make me any better of a person than I was back then... I wish I would have realized this back when I was younger.
In many ways, it is a similar story to when I lost 100 pounds. A lot of folks treated me differently.... and in some ways that felt so, so very odd. At one level, I was happy they noticed the work I put in to losing the weight, but it also made me feel quite an "outsider" so-to-speak. I was and felt like the same person I have always been when I was heavy, and I had the same feelings inside, but just because my outside had changed, they treated me like a different person in many ways.... some good, but some ways were not. I especially felt uncomfortable when a lot of folks started to make "fat" comments about others in my presence. It gave me more insight to what some were undoubtably saying about me out of ear-shot when I was heavier.
People are who they are whether fat or thin, non-athletic or athletic. It is just a strange feeling being who I am and getting to experience both groups.
But, not to be too maudlin, I did want to end this by saying that looking at that track today allowed me to realize AND let go of some of that shame I had been keeping inside me all these years.... Even though much of it was subconscious.