Monday, August 23, 2010

SLOG IT OUT: the 13th mile marker of hope

And this one phrase appeared as I began to struggle. SLOG IT OUT. SLOG IT OUT. Just 9 more songs. Just 5 more songs. SLOG IT OUT. I wasn't even sure what "slog" meant. I searched my vocabularly for the meaning of the word and found nothing. But I still knew what it meant for me. Just push through. Struggle through. Make it through.

And that is what "slog" actually means. Which somewhere in my literary unconscious I'd heard or read before and kept for safe keeping. To use then. When I really needed inspiration from somewhere - to pull me through.

I looked the definition up later: (1) to hit hard: BEAT (2) to plod (one's way) perseveringly especially against difficulty (2) to plod heavily : TRAMP (as in slogged through the snow) (3) to work hard and steadily: PLUG. Another form of the word is slog-ger. Examples of SLOG could be: He slogged away at paperwork all day. She slogged through her work. We've been slogging for hours. They slogged their way through the snow.

It's the perfect word. It's the way I've been feeling about everything lately. My job. My life. My friendships. My family. PERSEVERE. PLOD. WORK. step. step. step. Though heavy, though difficult, though slow and steady. step. step. step. slog you slogger, slog it out.

So slogging my way around the shady curves of Rock Creek Parkway yesterday and down beside the water and around and around the imposing monuments, I actually ran 13 whole miles. And tried not to think about how sweaty and chubby and bent over I must look. And tried not to care how slow I was going. And tried to enjoy the scenery and sunshine if only for a moment. And very slowly, and with a little walking, I covered 13 miles in less than 3 hours.

And today I am EXHAUSTED. My legs don't want to work and I feel half asleep. There are blisters and chafing unattractive and unpleasant. And all I want to do is eat chocolate. Not that the latter sensation has anything to do with running since all I ever want to do is eat chocolate. But still I did it.

I don't feel happy per se. I would like to tell you I do. It feels silly not to be. But I still don't have any answers to anything that I've been trying to work through. I still don't have any truly good reason to explain to Scarlett or anybody else why I'm actually running all these miles. I still don't believe I'm going to be able to finish this stupid thing, slow and heavy and undertrained and totally clueless as I am. And then what? How to explain to all the people I've bugged with all this training and all my pride and all my hopes? How to believe I can do anything at all ever again in life if I can't do this when I've worked so hard for it.

It doesn't even feel like I've accomplished anything. Even though covering such a distance, as I've never done before in my life, surely a long haul for anybody whatever their fitness level, should feel like something special. Should bring me joy.

But I'm just jogging through runs like a slogger just like I'm walking through my life like a zombie. And I just want to reach a finish line for once. I just want things to work out. But I don't know how to get there. I only know I'm moving forward. step. step. step. Telling myself quietly and repeatedly and hopefully: SLOG IT OUT.


Sadako said...

Aw, hope you feel better and less...sloggy, for lack of a better word.

Susanlee said...

Eeee! Your post made me tired! Congratulations on making it! Once upon a time when I was motivated to torture my body, I believed somewhere in my soul that I'd have to lose weight to keep my boyfriend, and my mantra was "this is the anything..." Meaning, if I'd do anything to keep him then this was it.

As it turns out, the anything was much harder, but didn't involved sweat or dieting,so I think I broke even.

Toddy said...

Hey ladies, thanks for the well wishes. I started writing the post meaning for it to be inspirational --13 miles-- but then it just went kind of downtrodden. But I went with it anyways. All this running is supposed to be cathartic and in a way it is making me deal with shit I'd otherwise ignore with my busy life. Out on the road, stuck in your own can run in circles but you can't run from yourself.