Thursday, February 14, 2008

an Ironman Valentine's

it's that time of year again.

i dread this holiday. seriously, i do.

kina grannis: message of your heart

part of it is the overdone commercialized hype that's become associated with it. it's an industry of monolithic corporate dimensions, which 1) smacks too much of the man to this one-time-and-forever adolescent-teen-goth-punk-rebel-a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e, and 2) runs entirely contrary to the spirit of a holiday originally meant for more personal emotional sentiments.

dead milkmen: punk rock girl

another part of it is the occasion itself. it's just...saccharine. too sweet. too cute. too close. too much. it's like asking for a scoop of ice cream and then getting a freight truck-load--it's more than you ordinarily think about, more than you really want, more than you can possibly finish, and more than enough to make you sick.

and of course, there's the last part. the part you're probably guessing, and probably think i'm leery to admit, but which you may no doubt be surprised i can freely concede: memories.

and you know what i'm talking about.

seal: love's divine

the path of my life is one that i knew entailed certain consequences. despite what some people might say, it's not always possible to have everything, and there's certain choices over certain priorities that have to be made in a world of incongruous dichotomies facing creatures of only limited capacities. it's inevitable. there's only so much energy, and only so much time, in lives that have so much demand.

chasing a dual-degree graduate program, i knew, was going to limit my options for a personal life. that the 2 degrees were a JD and a PhD, each of which alone are often seen as intensely consuming experiences, only sealed the deal. as a graduate student, you're isolated in a limbo of classes, research, and work, trapped in a nether-world situated between undergrads, professors, and people in the real world, with little money, meager time, a tiny apartment, old clothes, an old car, and not much of an end in sight.

not the kind of thing most girls put up with for very long.

the weepies: world spins madly on

the decision to do Ironman didn't help. if anything, it made things worse. as you know, training and racing Ironman sucks up time. lots of it. and energy. lots of it. and money. lots of it. whatever surplus you had before is wicked away on swims, rides, and runs, along with the attendant weight training, physical therapy, stretching, massages, nutrition details, equipment repair, and recovery time frequently just spent lying in bed staring emptily at the ceiling.

again, not the kind of thing most girls put up with for very long.

joshua radin: closer

the result has been a long stretch of years of one relationship after another, none lasting much more than the obligatory hello-that's nice-how interesting-goodbye. most, i knew, never had a chance from the beginning. some i wished they did but never would. a few had tantalizing potential, but invariably ended up like all the others. all i've been left with are memories.

which is kind of the issue with Valentine's Day. because it brings up the memories. all of them.

bloc party: i still remember

and looking back across all the long miles of my life, all i can see is the wreckage of the landscape that is history of my relationships, and i realize that despite everything i've done, because of everything i've done, it was all because of me.

i can't help but wonder that there were those i should have spoken to, those that i should have given more time to, those that i should have hung onto...except that they really wouldn't have wanted me--what little of me there was, or is.

i hate Valentine's Day. hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it.

but there's not much i can do about it. and there's not much i can do about the past. all i can do is to try and do what any of us who hold the title Ironman is supposed to do: move on, and try to do better in the future.

in all the meanings of that phrase. not just a better scholar, or a better athlete. but a better man, a better person, and a better human being.

through all the long miles of my life.

savage garden: crash 'n burn

i guess that's really i can do. try to do better.

and hope that somewhere out there there's a girl who actually doesn't mind me and everything i do, and maybe--just maybe--does more than just put up with it, but actually maybe--just maybe--understands.

over all the long miles of our lives.

vanessa carlton: a thousand miles

cheers, kids. and oh yeah: happy Valentine's Day.

1 comment:

M said...

I see you have read my autobiography of the last seven years of my life.

Relationships, like training sessions, can be good or bad, and sometimes the reasons why are never quite clear. But with both, there is always an investment, a lesson learned, a strength gained, regardless of how it turns out. I have to force myself to remember this, especially during the tough ones (training sessions and relationships).

P.S. I think V-Day is a joke. Ha.