They say if you love something, let it go. Ah, the proverbial “they”. What “they” don’t say is “And when you DO let it go, you will stop loving it, and everything will be peachy.”
Ya know why? Because letting go is a testament to your love, not arrestment of it. Because letting GO and giving up are entirely different animals.
Take, for instance, running (of course). When my coworker sends me a text from downtown Manchester on Thursday night, excited about the 5k she is about to do, or I am invited to run trails with someone at CrossFit, I am reminded how deep my love for running, well, runs. Yet I have let it go, for now.
In running, that looks like moving those race medals and framed bib numbers from where they were predominantly displayed in my tiny home to the top shelf of my hall closet, where they are out of sight (but hardly out of mind).
It looks like burying my trail runners and Vazee pacers underneath my wetsuit and aero helmet, right beside the race medals. Letting them sit there by the front door was not serving anyone. I only looked at them with longing, so close yet so far away. Close enough for me to touch, but I just can’t run. Was I pulling them into my orbit, or they pulling me into theirs? They’re just shoes. They’re just SHOES Sara!
But they aren’t just shoes. They are everything I dream I could have, do, be, love! And still I am letting those running shoes off the hook. I am letting myself off the hook.
Releasing myself as it were. Breaking that pull on me.
2017 has been a year of letting go of so much. Triathlon, my marriage, my life in Albany. Things that I will not return to, but move on from with bittersweet memories, resilience, and lessons learned.
But there are a few things I clung to because my heart could not make out how to let go of what once filled me with joy and courage. Challenged me and moved me. Like running. I like who I am when I’m running. But I hate this cycle of tasting the run for one day, only to have my heart and legs sidelined for a week.
And I have caught a glimpse of how it could be, where these shoes and I could go! That is why this release, this breaking away from the pull is so painfully hard. Because a part of my heart that will always love this force and how it moves me, and makes me truly feel alive, is now stuffed on a shelf, in the dark hall closet.
Why do it? Because LIFE is calling and I must go. But I can’t GO unless I am stronger. I can’t move forward unless I heal. So I unhook my life from running, a planet unto myself. And I commit to CrossFit, to cycling, to just being outside and moving, to listening to my body and loving it.
These things are not replacing running. I can’t love them the way I love it. But if I ever want a second chance, I need a solid foundation. Maintaining that foundation has to be something I make room for, now and down the road. Getting strong enough to run and then scrapping CrossFit is not an option. I realize I can’t have one without the other. Just as I can’t have a loving relationship with someone without also maintaining a relationship with God.
And so… God first. Strength first. And then, when the time is right, and when my broken wing and broken hip are healed, I will take my trail runners down, and wipe off the dust and run stronger than I ever have before. Alert Gate City, because when I hit the roads again, it is ON. And when I love again, I will LOVE stronger than I ever have before. God help the man on the other end of that love, because it will damn well blow his mind, I can tell you that.
I don’t know when that will be. Any of it. That is the dilemna…
There is no prescribed time. I’ve tried to set one. “Oh, I won’t run for the rest of August. I won’t date all summer. I won’t ever race again. Oh, I won’t ever get married again.” And so on.
Absurd declarations. Why do I say these things?!
I replace them with a different declaration: I will just follow my heart and trust that the key to running after the things my heart wants to GO after may be letting GO of all of it. And if I have to GO without something for a season in order to have it back in my life for good, that is a sacrifice I can commit to.
You can’t GO until you let GO. Until you release your grip and let it all come back to you.