The suck welcomes thee.
A book I read a few years back and enjoyed immensely was “Jarhead” by Anthony Swofford. It’s his personal story of being a Marine sniper during the first Gulf War and is both interesting and extremely well-written.
One line from the book that always stuck with me was the greeting new Marines would receive from their comrades when first getting to Iraq… “Welcome to the suck.”
I must confess I get that notion a little bit of late. As I begin to really hone my focus more for my May 6th Tough Mudder, I begin to switch up my training program from a primarily strength-focused regimen to one where I lift less and run more… a lot more. Up until this point, most of my running was in the form of sprints (either on a football field or up a hill) or while playing a sport (usually soccer or basketball). Running for the sake of just… well… running? Sweet mother of God… why would anyone want to do that? But here I am… a dude who is running in my super-jazzy new New Balance kicks (lovely, aren’t they?) and doing all I can to get myself into running shape for my race.
So where does the suck come in? Simple: My lifting (my pride and joy!) is taking a hit right now as I am spending more energy and recovery resources with running. However, my running is really not very good… at least not yet. That puts me in the middle of a bunch of suck. My good thing is becoming worse (although that should level out soon) and the thing I am spending a ton more time on… well… I’m still a bit awful at. POWERFUL SWEET!
But this isn’t a post about wallowing in the suck, bemoaning my state of being to the uncaring Fates… ohh not at all, not at all. This mucky middle I find myself in… this place where I am feeling all out of sorts… is actually a good place, even if it doesn’t feel that way. This is a growth spot – a place where I am firmly out of my comfort zone and figuring out what I can do.
It hurts. It’s frustrating. It’s certainly not all that much fun.
It’s also supremely satisfying in a lot of ways (at least after the fact when I am done running, I feel good and I am popped on the couch watching Manchester United play soccer like I did today).
Tomorrow I will get up and run again. It will (hopefully) hurt a less little and I will be a little quicker.
In short… I will embrace the suck until the suck it is no more.