"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whining (you can skip this one)

My friend Mike is hiking the Appalachian Trail as I type this. He's blind. Think for a second about how hard that would be - blind hiking. Now, if you'd only known him from phone calls, you wouldn't know he can't see and you might say something like, "I wish I could take eight months off from work so I could do that." Mike has the time because he can't find work (the unemployment rate for the blind is over 70%). My cousin Mark is blind; he was the second blind graduate of the Harvard Law School (they made a film about the first one), so I grew up thinking that being blind wasn't much of a handicap... as president of the national Federation for the Blind, Mark's forever fighting over small discriminations the blind face that one generally wouldn't think about; American currency will soon be encoded with Braille, thanks in part to him. That doesn't mean Mike's going to be earning money soon, but he'll know how little he's carrying with him.

Mike's website: http://www.blindhiker.com/

I'm supposed to be at the Autism Society tonight, but I don't think I'll go, even though it probably would be good for me. I'm having a rough time.

It's hard to explain what it's like to have ASD (autistic spectrum disorder; it's the favored term of the year), but I can say I often think I'd rather be blind. People recognize that the blind are blind (well, Marla Runyon sometimes gets "But you're not really blind.") They make some accomodations for them. High-functioning autism is a constant struggle with no rewards at all.

I completely misread a situation recently and I'm completely mortified. I won't say exactly what happened - and, given how much I'm willing to admit publicly, you can imagine what I won't admit - but today I hate being who I am. I'll be okay soon, but not today. I'm taking the day off to wallow in self-pity. I just need the one day to whine about how bad life sucks sometimes.

Training's going okay. The next post will be back to training. Promise.


keith said...

sometimes ya just gotta wallow. hope you're back to regular ol' steve soon.

Won't the braille on money just wear off as it gets squashed in your wallet? Why can't they just make the bills different sizes like they do coins?

I personally think we should do away with money and all of the trappings of modern society all together, but that's another topic, for another blog, for another day.

Joel said...

Sorry about the pity-day. One race, some years back, the only mantra that did me any good was, "No self pity. No self-pity." 26.2 miles of that and you seriously consider medication.

I'm thinking of just running the 25k Afton loop early Sat morning. Unlike so many others, I don't need hills right now. I just want a nice prelude to Afton. Are you still doing hills? Want to do a 25K instead (or in addition)?

Of course, this proposition is all a lead-up to get you to do Leadville with us...the whole thing (not as a pacer).

RunWesty said...

A bit of wallowing is an ok thing. I just wrote a post of my own about my own issues, the difference is I probably won't publish it. The reason your blog is great reading is because it is you. Not just a very good runner talking about running but a person talking about things, don't sweat it or think about it, it is good for you. Vent, rebuild and move on. Thank you for a reality check.