Monday, July 15, 2013

Kabbalah, The New York City Marathon, and The Indigo Girls

 And then I think about my fear of motion, which I never could explain. Some other fool across the ocean years ago must have crashed his little airplane   ~Indigo Girls, "Galileo."

In case you are one of those who regularly read this blog (Hi Mom!) I did not run Sick last week despite my plan to do so, and as described in this post. My sickness has grown into epic proportions, and I have a terrible case of bronchitis. Antibiotics and inhalers are on the job but no match for the viral stew that is bubbling in my chest.

I've layed awake coughing for hours pondering how in the hell we don't allow assisted suicide. If I had to live in that condition forever, I would fasten on my parachute and jump into the next life.  Maybe I should also add that I have a huge skin rash from an antibiotic allergy.

All of that, but running is what's on my mind. Funny, because everything else is impaired, but I can at least partly perform the other roles in my life, but I can't run.  Maybe I got issues. (what do you mean maybe?) but not running is one my biggest concerns, and the fact that I have to basically start all over to train for the New York City Marathon. I had a 16 mile week last week, and zero this week. I'm like Sisyphus from Greek mythology who keeps rolling an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down again, repeating this into infinity.

I hate self-pity. I used to live on self-pity. It was "poor me, poor me, pour me another drink." I try to live on the opposite of self-pity. Gratitude for what I have, and feeling I have the power to handle any challenge that comes my way.

Kabbalah teaches a spiritual tenent where obstacles we see in our lives are self-created. That our spirit knows exactly what it needs to grow, so we ourselves create specific barriers and put them in front of us. These self-created problems pull out and build specific strengths that we require to move on. Reincarnation happens until our souls get it right. Randall, from my novel STRAY, likes to spout off on this Kabbalah tenet.

I love this idea because there is nobody else to blame and no room for victim-hood or self-pity. And as I try to run the New York City Marathon, I have a long list of things I have caused.

I have caused injuries, I have caused a hurricane. I've had my running gear lost by the airlines on the way to New York. And now I've caused an evil case of bronchitis.  What the hell is wrong with me? 

Kabbalah might say I'm serving time for mistakes made by another in another lifetime. Perhaps so would the Indigo Girls.

For the record, I do believe there are real victims, and terrible tragedies that happen, but I also love the concept of survivor-hood as the ultimate growth. We should judge ourselves by our scars, not our trophies.

I'm gonna cross that finish line God dammit, ain't nothing gonna stop me.  Give me your germs, give me your hurricanes, severe my tendons, treat me like your servant Job, but I'm gonna cross that finish line if I have to rip my lungs out at the start and drag my intestines across the 26.2 miles and smear the remains onto Central Park. Won't that make a cool finish line picture.

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