Grounded Reflection

April 30th

If you take a look at my posting history, you’ll see I didn’t post anything for five days and then, finally, posted my account of the past week in one day. My goal was to post daily throughout the duration of my training as I am doing things daily to help me reach my goal.

I realized I stopped writing and posting when people started commenting (positive things–which makes this even more messed!) on the blog. It reminded me that people are reading. People I know. I started writing before anyone knew about it and was writing quite freely and for myself. The awareness of being seen made me recoil and I put everything else on my to-do list hold knowing I had these posts to do hanging over my head. How do I feel publishing them? Awesome. Did I know I would eventually? Yes. Did I still get thrown off by the comments and freeze? Yes.

Will I again?

Yes.

I had rough drafts of all my days and ended up combining days because I “didn’t have time” and “nothing productive happened anyway”, and oddly, “ no one’s really  reading anyway”. Conveniently I was forgetting I started this as a commitment to myself to get writing again and keep me doing something that is just for me during all this distancing practice. I want to share my running thoughts and my stories of what the running community does for people.

What helped me get these posts out was actually using speech to text. It’s proven quite revolutionary for me to dump all my thoughts out right after a run so I can still capture all those thoughts I had and not worry about who was judging the voice of the words I was typing. It’s been great for my dyslexic brain to just let the words flow and the ideas just pour out without substituting words with ones I know and losing the meaning I was looking to say.

This process just makes so much sense to me now as I love editing raw text. I always take on that role in group projects and my formal business writing sounds surreal to me when I read it back to myself aloud. Brain dumping is how I get through my day with all my thoughts swimming around! Refining what needs my attention has proven useful for my to-do lists. Writing was a skill I struggled with a long time, especially getting all my thoughts on paper. Why is it so daunting looking at a blank page? Why does nothing come out even though so many ideas are swirling behind your eyes?

I failed English twice in college. I applied to take it a third time and it was rejected because my GPA was so low. This was shattering for me as you need English to pursue any certificate, diploma, let alone a degree and more. It was the one thing I needed to move forward, and I wasn’t allowed. I was already at a college level thinking I couldn’t perform alongside potential classmates at an actual university. I felt I couldn’t go anywhere to get the course I needed.

In hindsight, I was not ready to be a student and was mainly doing it out of obligation to try things and ‘learn’. If I were in a better place this would likely have worked but I don’t remember much as I wasn’t really all that present in the classroom at the time. I took a break from school seemingly unable to move forward and realized I had no idea what I wanted to do.

It was actually around this time I started running. I later applied to a couple universities, was accepted, and registered for one class in January of 2016 at one near me. I remember being so scared to fail that class I was frozen in my car and my boyfriend at the time had to walk me to the classroom door. Exactly this time four years ago at the end of term, where I am now, I received a C+ in English and could enroll in any program I wanted having met the one common course requirement they all needed.

I’m in awe of what I’ve done since then. I was terrified to set room into a university classroom because I had previously failed this exact course at a different school twice over. Here I sit with another semester completed, 70% done my accounting degree and reflecting on all my efforts and finally seeing the progress I really have made. I’m not a fantastic student and will never be an A+ achieving student. I’m too busy running around on trails with friends on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I will always leave class early on a pow day and hit he slopes with my snowboard. I will always skip an end of the week class to go camping a day early.

I may not be a great student, but I have to say, my teachers still remember me. You can sure as heck bet my teachers know I’m leaving their class early to go board that night or get to sleep early to run in the morning. I bumped into my ‘Accounting 101’ teacher and he remembered me before I did him. I feel lucky that I know all my teachers and that they take an interest in their student’s life.

I may not be a great student, but my teachers remember me for me.

I may not be a great runner, but I run for myself and community.

I’m enjoying my recovery week. I’m doing the runs in my order on my days and I am happy to report I feel great. I feel mentally clear, and present, and so very grounded. The kind of grounded you should feel after doing a body scan and meditating for a while. Where you can feel the earth under your feet and your bum connected to whatever is supporting you. I have been feeling like that all day, day after day this week and I plan to savour it while it’s here.

What grounds you in times of change and uprooting?

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