The passion of the run (and the bike)

Out at dinner one night, a good friend told me it was gratifying to see that I had such a passion for all the running and cycling I’ve been doing this year. I told her I’m more amazed than anything else. From where this all started to where I am, the journey has been enlightening. And it’s been some of the hardest stuff I’ve ever done–early mornings, heat, cold, cramps, and questioning whether or not this is the smartest thing to do.

On OkCupid, there’s a question on what’s more important in a relationship, passion or dedication. I answered dedication. It doesn’t sound terribly romantic, but for a relationship to work, you have to put the work in. Flying on the autopilot of lust, desire and attachment will only get you so far. Once that fades, then what?

The initial rush of that first run or bike is great–I’m out on the road! I can feel the breeze! This is wonderful! The flow, then ebbs. Dragging yourself out of a warm bed to pull on your running togs and face a cold, hard dawn, is a…drag. The question of why the hell am I doing this is a constant. You tell yourself, there’s a payoff…somewhere. When you’re not running, you’re still preparing–passing up that doughnut for a banana. Parking the car a little farther from the store.

Soon, it becomes natural. You make the time to run in the morning. You take a pass on happy hour because you want to be right for the early ride. You judge the weather on how good a run day it would be. When you don’t run, or bike, you miss it. You don’t just run for the 5k shirt, or bike for the medal or water bottle you’ll get–you do it because you want to.

That’s love.

I think.

The question on OkCupid (like many of the questions there) is too damn binary. It’s both–the passion gets you in the door. The dedication keeps you there, and helps ride out the bumps that will come.

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Love and solitude

This is what happens when you peruse OKCupid profiles–you may find a gem that sticks with you for a good long while. Like this from a wonderful poet named Warsan Shire
 
My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.
 
Yes. This, this, this. I’m fine, good alone (that’s an introvert for you). And yes, I’ve set a high bar. But the bar is worth hurdling. If I may be so immodest.
 
And then there’s this gem…
 
“You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, someone not everyone knows how to love.” 
 
True, too. I may not be cuddly and sparkling and have fireworks shooting out of my butt. But I am lovable. And I have to give that lovability back, too. 
 
It is, and should be, a cycle.