Throughout the uproar of the Tiger Mother book, a part of me quietly cheered on the mother. While I disagree with a tyrannical leadership style and social deprivation, she affirmed two of the deepest truths I learned.
#1 It's not fun until you get good.
#2 You won't be good if you don't put in the work.
Those thoughts ran through my mind as I put in my 5 miles this morning. As it usually happens, I got frustrated going too slowly during the run and let my feet really fly for a few stretches. The joy, the exhiliration, the sheer uplift, my feet thrilled. Barking, chasing, and the dog tired before I did. Better luck next time, kid.
My youth was never like this. I hated running. I especially hated basketball because it required both running and jumping. I felt the fat jiggle on my unsightly breasts, around a too-large midsection, rippling across the thighs. Could there be a worse sensation in the world? Yes. Worse still was the sensation of other humans seeing your shambling, porcine form lope down the street. Running is embarassing for the slow and ugly.
So stop being slow and ugly.
It hurts. Forget your muscles, forget your weak, aching back. I know that hurts. You can withstand that. You're having trouble with how much it hurts to show other people you're fat.
Battle your fears with reality. Taking refuge in delusion invites disaster.
They know you're fat. They see it. I see it. You alone refuse to see it. They knew I was fat. You saw it. I alone refused to see it. Until I had my heart broken. Until I overheard a girl say "Him? Ew! Never!" I'm forever thankful for "Fight Club" teaching me to embrace "rock bottom." In the earliest posts here, in the oldest posts there, I wrote about immersing myself in the reality bath. Acknowledging the cruel reality, a hundred, a thousand knives piercing your every inch of skin, every acre of soul, the freezing waters of the arctic killing your flesh, awakening your soul. Come alive and wake up. Things are bad.
And they'll stay that way until you change them.
Until you put in the work.
Work first to acknowledge truth. Work next to change what's true. I think soon, you will find the work become beautiful. It has for me.