Monday, December 8, 2014

It Could Have Been Easy

Here you are now 
Calling me up 
But I don't know what to say 
I've been picking up the pieces of the mess you made 
People like you always want back the love they pushed aside 
But people like me are gone forever 
When you say goodbye 

 Hey, all you had to do was stay 
Had me in the palm of your hand 
Man, why'd you have to go and lock me out when I let you in 
Stay, hey, now you say you want it back, 
Now that it's just too late 
Well it could've been easy, all you had to do was stay 

Last Friday I was engaging in my preferred Friday task of non-mentally-taxing data clean-up work. It’s a nice way to close out the week on a relaxed note while still actually accomplishing something. While doing this, I was using my remaining free brain space to listen to Taylor Swift's 1989 album and mentally rewrite the entire thing into cycling-themed parodies. I was inspired by the “Taylor Swift’s 1989 Playlist Workout” that I’d seen the day before, and I felt that I could really do it one better.

 “All You Had to Do Was Stay” wasn’t a song that had got much of my attention in my previous listens, as it was just another play on the “dude begging to get back together” theme that is already in too many of her songs, and that I can only assume is based on common fantasy more than real-life experience. I just don’t think that dudes really beg to come back that much, but it is fun to imagine to telling them to eff off if they do. Anyway, with the cycling-parody challenge, the song suddenly became more appealing. Since I’ve been desperately trying to get back together with my early-2013 fitness level lately, the song became an ironic taunt to myself that inspired me through the weekend’s training.

 During my blogging break, I wrapped up my cyclocross season and started to get an early jump on winter Death March training. I’ve also had a lot of time to reflect on what I’ve gained and what I’ve lost in the last two years. I’ve gained wonderful life partner, mountains five miles from my back door, and a job where I’m learning tons about the right way to so many things procedurally and interpersonally. I feel like I’m finally living up to my intellectual potential (while still having busy work when I want it, because I do like it sometimes). I’ve also gained 13 pounds, lost the best fitness that I’d ever had, and lost touch with people who I had just begun to get close to when I left Bloomington. I’ve gotten to the point of accepting that success is not a linear progression, and it’s okay that I wasn’t able to fix *everything* in two years’ time. I might not even have it all fixed in another two years, but it’s also time to congratulate myself on my wins and start recouping my losses.

Now when I look at the flab on my stomach and thighs, or struggle through a 45-mile ride, I tell myself, “It could have been easy; all you had to do was stay,” and it makes the work ahead of me seem not as bad. I could have saved myself the trouble of rebuilding my fitness from the bottom and maybe could have been capping off a spectacular ‘cross season back in OVCX-land right now. I would be getting to spend time with my friends, which admittedly would have been nice. I wouldn’t know true love, though, and my nights would be spent riding my bike and eating dinner alone, with just the hope of weekend socialization. The fitness part would have been easy, but the rest wouldn’t have been.

So the challenge I face now is still easier than it would have been to live out the rest of my life without Frank. All the rest will come back to me, or it won’t. I’m also reassessing the fact that my life always seems to be about “getting there”, but I think that’s a subject for another day.

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