Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bowling and Balance

This past weekend, I was in Denver for a conference and ended up going bowling. Because, really, who doesn’t think “Colorado” and then immediately afterward think “land of bowling!” More accurately: when you are graciously offered both dinner and a ride to the airport by a friend’s colleague’s relatives, you enthusiastically agree to anything they wish to spend the afternoon doing. Which is why on my last free afternoon in Denver, I was NOT wandering around in search of a deliciously crunchy, groovy, granola-guy to take off into the mountains with. Instead, I was bowling.

Which turned out to be a really good thing. ‘Cause in the midst of our second string of bowling, I had a grand epiphany!

I ask you: who the heck gets three strikes in a row followed by eight consecutive gutter-balls? Twice! Maybe the same kind of person who relentlessly posts long, incessant blog posts and then abruptly halts with no explanation. Or somebody who trains for a marathon and then just completely stops running cold turkey. Or perhaps somebody who completes 12 weeks of P90x and a vegetarian diet and follows it up with 5 weeks of sitting on the sofa eating Ben and Jerry’s by the pint. Do you see a pattern developing here? ’Cause I sure didn’t!

No, I needed to have my feet in rented shoes and my fingers jammed into places in a plastic resin ball that made it look like I was giving it an internal exam in order to see the truth. I am….inconsistent. Sad, but true.

Those of you who spend any amount of time in Therapy World know that the term “inconsistent” is on par with “child molester” or “serial killer.” As in: “While the client initially showed excellent potential, she did not reach her goals secondary to inconsistent performance with both in-facility and home based exercises.” Ouch. I may have to brand myself with a big scarlet “I”. And I guarantee that somebody in Blue Cross/Blue Shield is itching to refuse payment on everthing that happens to me during the rest of my life. Plus, give me the boot.

This is not Therapy World, however, it’s the Real World, so BC/BS can’t actually boot me out of my own life. Conversely, I can’t just throw up my hands and find myself a crunchy, groovy, doctor to write me prescriptions for oxycontin or medical marijuana. When we have grand epiphanies in the Real World, we have to acknowledge and deal with them. Also, sad, but true.

Fortunately, since I am so inconsistent, I have a stack of old college text books that I cleared from the shelves but have not yet donated to anyone. So I could dust off that stack in the corner, pull out Psych 101, and deal with it.

I saw in Chapter 1 that my inconsistence is clearly a learned behavior. It’s not my fault. It was an inevitable side effect afer years of watching the Red Sox play.

Of course, Chapter 2 contained the words “avoidance”, “denial”, and “blame” to I was forced to let the Red Sox off the hook and place the blame squarely on the responsible party: my parents. (I’m kidding. I’m 42 years old for frick’s sake!) My self.

My inconsistent behavior is truly my own fault. I set lofty, grandiose goals and then throw myself into them until I literally collapse. Then I hang out like a slug for a while, recover, and start the process all over again. Strike, strike, strike, gutterball! (Chapter 3 in Psych 101 explained to me that this is not a normal nor desirable way to live life)

So this spring, instead of deciding which races I am going to complete or which peaks I’m going to climb, I’m embracing the goal of balance. Maybe I’ll try training to run a couple miles a few times a week instead of 26 miles for one day. Or eating more vegetables. Or writing more frequent (but much shorter) posts wit which to torture or delight my bloggie friends.

Unless, of course, I do run into a deliciously crunchy, groovy, granola-guy. In which case, do not be surprised by my absence. I promise to write a really long update when I finally emerge from the woods.

Have a great week!

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