If you don’t recognize the title of this post as the partial lyrics from a Bob Dylan song then I may be too old for you. This is basically how I feel at grad school every time I’m on campus and I try not to say anything too trendy (Hey Boomer!) or too old (My bad!) and it’s an interesting dance. At least I’m keeping my hair lively…but that’s not the only thing that’s changing.
It’s funny, now that I have zero upcoming races on my calendar (a huge change!), running has become more important than ever. It’s like suddenly, after 20 years of running, I might lose the ability to do so because I don’t have an upcoming race. I’ve been running 4-5 days a week, sometimes with speed, sometimes really slowly, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
The Vermont 10 Miler in Stowe that I planned to run was cancelled at the last minute because of storm damage. It was disappointing but also kind of relieving. I wanted to run it but it was going to involve a lot of driving so…
I’m always open to running the Colchester Half Marathon at the end of February but, right now, I’m focused on ski season! Opening day at Okemo is Nov 22. Hell yeah. – – > bonus: I get a student discount season pass!
My bike has made the move from the roads to the trainer in my basement. I’m not sad about it. After watching El Camino (the Breaking Bad movie) I started watching the entire series of Breaking Bad from season1, episode 1. That should keep me busy on the bike through the new year.
SWIMMING + STRENGTH
My strength trainer has ramped up my fitness for snowboarding season and has me using a ridiculously difficult balance board. I can’t even squat on it without my lower body shaking like crazy. Obviously it’s my mission to dominate this wobble board. I asked if I could take it home and he just laughed. I was serious.
Luckily, he only posts videos of me looking strong and stable. Follow Antwan on Instagram @twondizzle to see more of me…and some of the professional athletes he trains!
As for swimming, I mostly do it when I have time which is probably twice a month at this point. I knew it would be the first to go when I scaled back on training and racing but it just makes me appreciate my time in the pool that much more. #winwin
THINGS I LOVE
Observing and listening to kids in my classes that are 15 years younger than me. Hell, two of my professors right now are younger than me…and have doctoral degrees. It’s humbling but also such a great way to look back without actually going back because seriously, I would never (ever, ever, ever) want to do that.
I find it funny that most people my age think the younger generation is so brash and entitled. At my school, I’m experiencing just the opposite. I see kids who are humble, kids who are bright but are afraid to advocate for themselves — I mean, some of them have a hard time emailing a professor to ask for things they need. They are severely polite, respectful, and most of all, just fucking young. And ok there are are a few dopes who add nothing to class but ignorance and attitude, but there are only a few.
There’s something to be said about waiting 15 years or so before going to graduate school, maybe especially for clinical mental health counseling. I feel like the sheer experiences I have had (both my trauma and life experiences) are helping me so much. I cannot fathom having done this work when I was 25 but, then again, at that age I was living in Los Angeles on my own and working a well-paying job I loved so…what the hell do I know?
My point is, I’m really loving learning from these kids (and yes, they are kids to me) and seeing life though their eyes, really listening to their point of view and (luckily) I’m able to have conversations about things like TikTok because I have two 10 year-olds at home…a topic most of them either find adorable or horrifying. They’re both right.
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
It’s not that I don’t love this so much but it’s just a big, noticeable change.
I’ve started unsubscribing to several running and triathlon related emails and magazines and now have Psychology Today and SSRN feeds.
I’ve shifted my focus at grad school from wanting to do run/walk therapy to wanting to help and treat marginalized groups and those who are least likely to either seek help or afford it.
When I wake up in the morning I think about papers I need to write and exams I need to study for instead of what’s on my TrainingPeaks app.
I feel myself slowly shifting into this new life and it’s sad, exciting, emotional and nerve racking.
The question I used to dread most when I was a stay-at-home mom was “what do you do for work?” and now it’s “when’s your next race?” It’s funny how quickly you become what you do but that’s never truly who you are. See, I’m going to start getting all psychological on your asses so buckle up! #therapynerd
I’ve come to realize that I usually only listened to music when I had a hard run workout to do so, I pretty much only listen to books or podcasts on my runs now and save Post Malone and Lizzo for dancing to in the kitchen with my kids.
Revisionist History | Malcolm Gladwell — my absolute favorite and I’m pissed that I’ve listened to all four seasons at this point. My two favorites of season 4 were Puzzle Rush and The Tortoise and the Hare. It’s in two parts and you absolutely have to listen to both. And, from season 3: Free Brian Williams.
All three in a nutshell: whatever college education you have is just as good as Harvard or Yale and everyone changes their version of memory. Everyone. It’s how the brain works!
I’m also still listening to Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend but it’s seriously so hilarious that it’s sometimes too hard to run and listen because I’m laughing so much. If you need a challenge — listen to the episode with Bill Hader and tell me if you can listen to that and run at the same time. #notpossible
I just started reading Jenna’s Bush-Hagar’s pick of Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. Yeah, yeah, I never thought I would listen to her advice either but the woman can pick a good book, and this one is bananas!
Full disclosure: I’ve only listened to half of it so far but I actually didn’t want to stop running so I could hear what happens next! So yes, it’s about twins who spontaneously combust but it’s really about friendship and love and trust and fucked up childhood – and who can’t relate to that? So far, I highly recommend it. And I really hope they try to make this into a movie.
RANDOM PHOTO OF THE WEEK
I picked up this gem while in Burlington, Vermont with my aunts a few weeks ago. Some people like to have motivational signs but this really keeps things in perspective for me:
Have a great start to winter and please stop bitching about how it’s too dark or too cold or wahh wahh wahh. It’s ski and snowboard season, sweater weather, hot coffee when you really need hot coffee, warm socks, hot toddys by the fire (I don’t know what those actually are but they sound amazing), awesome holidays, traditions, some of the best movies ever and reminding yourself why you should only get together with extended family once a year, because some things (and people), never change.
How are things in your life changing?
Are you dreading or loving the winter season?
Read or listen to anything good lately?