Thursday, March 08, 2007

Perfect day for a track meet

It's occurred to me a few times recently that I really miss track. My last couple years of college I put so much pressure on myself to race well that I stopped enjoying the track meets. I still had a great time with the other people from the team during training and other times--across events but especially our own small mid-distance squad. But I dreaded the meets. That's not completely true. I liked racing during the race itself, but that buildup to the race was torture (and when you compare the hours-long buildup to less than 2 minutes of running...). Oh, and I never dreaded the 4x400m relay. That was just something fun to end the meet with. But then in college I was always on the second team (our first team won nationals, so I wasn't quite at that level). Also, a 400 I could just sprint for 50 seconds and not worry about tactics or anything...which again, I sometimes enjoyed during the 800 but I didn't like trying to prepare myself.

Now, though, I'm enough years out of college that I wouldn't be putting ridiculous expectations on myself. I think I could just go out and run. I wonder what I could do now. I have pretty good endurance, I think, but I'd want a few weeks to train for speed also. Given that, I don't think I could quite break 2 minutes (I'd need a bit more than a few weeks for that and some more rigorous training), but I think I could get close to that.

I wonder if there's any danger of writing becoming like track was for me. There are flashes where I stall out, and I think it's because of putting the pressure on myself. But thankfully they don't last long so far. With track it was when I finished my second college season and could see myself making nationals the next year and dreamed of being All-American the following year (and after that, Olympics? unlikely...but I won't claim it didn't occur to me)--it didn't happen, my second season ending up being my best (in part because a sore knee kept me from training as much as I should have during the next off-season, and probably in part because of the pressure I put on myself). I'm probably not at the equivalent of that with my writing, though it's advancing well, and I receive the types of encouragement that indicate I'm heading there. So I guess the key is to just keep writing, dreaming big put not letting those dreams choke you with pressure.

Sounds good...any wisdom on how to do that? ;)

3 comments:

B. A. Barnett said...

Unfortunately, I have no wisdom to offer on how to do that. Just a shared fear of writing dream-induced choking hazards. :)

Daniel Ausema said...

Is there no writing heimlich?

mscelina said...

It's a valid point. We all put a lot of pressure on yourselves. Writing is a solitary sort of career choice and the only bosses we answer to are ourselves and ultimately....hopefully...the reader. I don't know about you, but I apply pressure to myself much better than I do to other people. That should have been obvious with the antho whip nazi attempts....