This morning I sit here, terribly shaken. To the core. It’s like everything I’ve known to be true, the very essence of who I am, has all been shaken. Two key events in the last twelve hours have totally destroyed any confidence I have in how well I really know myself.
It starts last night, watching the Broncos and the Ravens. Yes, I live in Denver but no, my world does not revolve around the Broncos. My favorite team plays on Saturdays. I had always been sort of an anti-fan when it comes to the Broncos because the fans, especially some of the talk show guys, were just a bit arrogant. Maybe a lot arrogant. I probably never really started caring much about if the Broncos won until all of the experts around here were so convinced the team was screwed because Tim Tebow was the quarterback – not sure if I was cheering so much for the team or even for Tebow as much as I was cheering against the attitude of a lot of the fans. And then Peyton Manning joined the team, and now I do root for the team because of him.
All of that really isn’t explaining my whole crisis for this morning though, does it? Sorry. Whether or not I’m a Bronco’s fan is probably irrelevant, but I love football and love to watch a good game no matter who is playing. Last night was the opening game for the whole season, it was an interesting game, the Bronco’s were pulling ahead, and looked like they were going to put it away when Danny Travathan intercepts a pass and runs it in. Only the clown starts celebrating before crossing the goal line and drops the ball. No one anywhere near him and the idiot fumbles the ball.
Love a duck.
Oh man I was ticked. It dawned on me that I wasn’t mad about the play itself. It was more like the moment he started running that ball in I was thinking sweet! This game is over, I can go to bed, and then this clown screws it all up, shifts the momentum, and Baltimore might be right back in this game. I didn’t want the game to get interesting, I wanted to go to bed.
I know, that doesn’t seem really dramatic, does it? This is not the stuff of struggles and crisis and all that.
This morning, I wake up, about the usual 5 AM thing. I get the dogs up, slog upstairs, make some coffee, go out for my run. One thing about going for a run is, it gets blood pumping, and after a bit of time of blood pumping into the brain, all of a sudden you are able to think and recognize things.
I. Got. The. Dogs. Up. It was me who woke them up.
I know, again, not really the stuff of existential angst, is it?
You don’t understand. I am not a morning person. I’m the guy who knows the exact moment I have to wake up to do all that has to be done and leave for work to get there precisely on time. I know this so that I can sleep past that moment and scramble to make up time somewhere along the way. Yes, for several months now I’ve been getting up early, but I know I’ve mentioned this before: it’s because of the bark alarm. They wake up at 5, they beg to be let out, and since I’m already up I may as well get my run in, right?
But it’s me who’s getting them up now. This isn’t the first time.
Do you see my crisis? These are some very core foundational things about who I am, part of the very essence of my being, man. I’m a huge football fan. I’m a late sleeper. This is who I am. This is the kind of stuff that defines me.
These things have worked together well for the vast majority of my 50 years on this planet. Staying up to see the end of that late night game went hand in hand with sleeping in. I watch football then sleep, and sleep long.
I don’t shut off games early to go to bed. I don’t get up at 5 voluntarily when I don’t have to be at work until 8. THAT IS NOT WHO I AM!
But here I am now a few weeks away from the half marathon. Sunday we’re doing 9 miles. The mid week runs are getting a bit longer. By the time I get up, get my coffee, do my run, get cleaned up (when you get as sweaty as I do, getting cleaned up to the point of being presentable for work is a bit time consuming)… There’s no choice but to get up early. And getting sleep is important, so I can’t stay up for the whole game. It just doesn’t work.
And that’s where the crisis comes in. I used to think those people who got up at 5 AM to run were insane. And now I’ve become one of them. To the point where it’s interfering with football, of all things!
I don’t even know who I am any more. What other things about myself have I always taken for granted but might not be true?
This. Scares. Me.