Defeating the Mangler

It’s been quiet in my corner of the bloggosphere for a while. Crickets. I’ve kind of been neglecting it on purpose, I mean, people want to hear about PR’s, wins, and epic races in far corners of the globe and the science and physiology behind your last workout (which was epic as well, naturally), oh and everything is to be labeled with #Rio2016. Yes, I like hearing about that stuff too. Absolutely no one wants to hear about your latest (non)epic pool run or your granny-shuffle around Monument Valley Park and how you fed a squirrel afterward.

Well, I hope you put a heaping teaspoon of That’s-Just-Too-Damn-Bad into your coffee this morning, because brace yourself: I have a whole lot of nothing epic whatsoever to report on! Everyone’s been hearing all about these shiny, inspiring performances and experiences, and I’d like to shake things up a little with something a little more boring and sobering.

Yes it’s true, the Mangler of Hopes and Dreams, who when manifested into his physical form looks like this:
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has been hard at work this past year in my tiny galaxy within the Runningverse (disclaimer: I am not about to launch into a self-pitying diatribe of any sort, so just give me a second here before you roll your eyes and leave).

Two steps forward, three steps back, one more step forward, another one back, just like a cha-cha…all the way to the light at the end of the tunnel that ends up being a train. Because with the Mangler of Hopes and Dreams, that’s just how you roll: right. Off. A cliff.

While it’s true that a year ago I never anticipated still dealing with the same old stubborn injury seemingly with a mind of its own (damn you, all things tendon and fascia), a year ago I also had no patience for stuff like this, and if I’m brutally honest with myself, was probably driven more by a fear of disappointing others (or perceiving that, anyway) and *maybe* myself, than I was driven by loving what I was doing–maybe to some extent–and may have been training for the Compare-athon more than anything else. That’s a great formula for ensuring that you always ignore your own better judgement, and when that all backfires, you can either own that flawed thinking, examine it like a falling-off toenail that just needs a good yank, and change it, or just keep repeating the same mistakes and going down the same road till the Mangler has his way with you and your hopes and dreams get mangled beyond recognition. Is that even a choice? Let’s face it, you create the majority of your own problems. While it’s true that the Mangler loves to mangle, usually something had to happen for those Hopes and Dreams to be put in close enough proximity to the Mangler for him to do his mangling. You follow? Good.
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However, if you find that your hopes and dreams have been mangled, don’t despair! Because the Mangler of Hopes and Dreams has one fatal flaw, and that is that he is afflicted with a chronically problematic digestive tract. No, he is not gluten-intolerant, he isn’t lactose-intolerant, however he is Optimism-and-Resiliance-and-Perseverance intolerant! He just can’t seem to keep those Hopes and Dreams down for very long and after a period of time usually just up-chucks them all over the floor, similarly to what my cat did this morning.

No, there is no amount of Tums or Pepto-Bismol that can keep him from vomiting up all those partially-digested Hopes and Dreams. If you’re willing to dig through the pile of warm and gooey ickiness, you can clean them off and reassemble them. Maybe they won’t look precisely like what they looked like before, but if they withstood the stomach of the Mangler, they can withstand anything.

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