I ran six miles today. Six-point-three, technically -- the longest run since I effed up my iliotibial band in December. (No pain beyond the expected discomfort, by the way.)
I wish you could hear what it sounded like in my head while I ran. I am poised, right now, between a valley of horrible self-talk and a peak of self-encouragement, and until I can settle on one or the other we're just going to whip back and forth between the two.
"This is going to be awesome! Good for you, Joey! You suck and you can't do this, see how awful you feel? You need to just give up right now. Don't give up! You can do this! You've done it before and you can do it again! See how strong you are? See how much faster you can go without feeling the effort? You went out too fast and you're going to blow it! That's it, one foot in front of the other! Just keep going! Hey, look, you're almost done -- you did it!"
And that's basically how it goes all the time in there, no matter what I'm doing.
I look terrible! I look great, look how strong I am, look at those pecs, oh shit, look at that lumpy fat on that belly, look at those thighs that still rub together. Hey, they rub together because the muscles underneath are so huge now and the little fat you have left just happens to be right there. But who cares because they're all gross and rashy from the chafing? It's not going to get any better from here. You're not funny, you know that? You think you're funny but nobody else does, nobody's going to laugh if you go up and tell a story at open mic. But hell, nobody else is all that funny either, and I'm proud of me for trying!
I guess this is a side effect of pushing my own boundaries like a tackle dummy, digging up the grass into divots of earth with my toes. I'm waging a valiant battle against my own stupid self and having to cheer myself on for it. It's better than the times when the mean self-talk overtakes the cheerleading entirely. At least I have someone on my side, in there. I'm doing something I've never done in all my life: actually following through on the shit I said I was going to do. Go to school, finally. Find another way to tell stories. Care for my body without the safety net of metformin, make that body as strong as it can be. Find goals beyond parenting. I shouldn't be surprised when my head gets all roiled up.
Does this happen to you? Have you gone through periods of intense internal reorganization -- or just finally calling yourself on the carpet for all the stuff you always wanted to do? What was it like?