A person I greatly admire and respect told me that you can run a mile and see how long it takes, or you can run for three minutes and see how far you go, but you cannot run a 3 minute mile.
Those words changed my life and how I view myself. That was in the early stages of beginning to understand and manage PTSD, and I had pushed myself so hard for so long thinking I had to run that 3 minute mile.
I didn’t then.
I don’t now.
I have been running as hard as I can for three minutes, and I’ve been running mile after mile as fast as I could. At no point has it been a three minute mile.
In fact, I’m trying to slow the running. I hate running.
Life is no respecter of ability, strength, stamina or resources. But we the fighters, we the hopeful give it all we have, even when we’re standing in the ashes of burned up plans and the rubble of crushed dreams.
I’ve cleaned out my grandma’s apartment and sorted, packed, loaded and hauled away the memories of a lifetime. She lived on the second floor, and I’ve done a lot of stairs in the last week. I’ve bulked up and slimmed down a bit, my body responding to the effort in a way I didn’t expect but appreciate. It’s motivating to see that when I have to do the hard work, it builds ability for more hard work. It’s also built up a knot in my shoulder.
I pushed through 9 hours of research and paperwork today, slogging through endless handwritten documents over a century old. It may sound cool, but it’s slow going and I feel really crunched for time. It’s on the heels of having to do this for another project, and I’m faster and more confident this time. I know what I need and what I don’t, and as much as my eyes are blurry from staring at faint ink on a screen for hours and my brain feels shot and I am IRRITABLE, it’s only two days and then done.
I woke up with a lot of anxiety this morning, which is my least favorite way to wake up. Getting out of bed didn’t make things easier, but it did shift me from avoidance mode to handle it one thing at a time mode. And that’s how it’s going to go as I keep slogging through what feels like a lot of wreckage around me.