When you’re tired, slow down and eat

When I set out on my first ever trail run about a month ago, my friend/coach/chef, Cale, gave me one simple piece of advice: “When you’re tired, slow down and eat.”

I ran my first half-marathon last weekend at the Tesuque Trail Run. The prospect of running 13 miles in an afternoon was pretty daunting when I first started running. I got about 3 miles in and, breathing heavily and facing a steep climb, I was overcome with doubt. What am I doing? No way can I make it up this mountiain. I’m exhausted. How the hell can people run full marathons?!

When you’re tired, slow down and eat.

So I slowed to a walk, and whipped out some chocolate covered espresso beans and a rice-crispy treat and scarfed. I took a moment and looked down upon a valley of autumn-yellow Aspen trees, heard the flap of midnight black ravens overhead, took a deep breath of sage and suddenly, I had the energy. Let’s do it.

This past weekend, Cale and I took on the challenge of a bike ride to Taos and back. Neither of us had ever done a long distance bike-touring trip and we went into the 150-mile round-trip journey with hopeful minds and a readiness for whatever brutality lie ahead. We packed that freedom on our tires and rode off. The first day went off without a hitch, as long as you don’t consider 35-degree temperatures and rain on a mountain in bike shorts a hitch. Somewhere during our return trip though, around mile 95, I was hit again with that same doubt. I had to shift into the lowest gear to struggle up a little hill and I wondered if I was ever going to make it. I lost all enthusiasm for the journey. I was done.

When you’re tired, slow down and eat.

After the hill, with both of us noticeably struggling, we pulled off to the side of the road. We sat down, split a package of peanut butter crackers, a handful of gummy bears, and a homemade peanutbutter-honey-nutella-coffee goo and looked around. We were sitting in the middle of Carson National Forest, surrounded by Pinyon trees and sandstone mesas with the sun shining down. A smile stretched across my face. There’s no other place I’d rather be. We cruised the rest of the way, never going more than 45 minutes without candy, caffeine, and a slowing.

With Overland and Jumpstart Chicago this summer, I found myself moving very quickly, much faster than I had been while intentionally travelling. I was suddenly responsible for the well-being of 56 energetic kids nonstop for three months straight. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing and I was following my passion. They were both incredible experiences as I mentioned in past blogs but and they were exhausting. By the end of August, my brain, my body, my response-inhibitor, they were all tired.

When you’re tired, slow down and eat.

So I went back to Ghost Ranch. I got into some of that power of the slowing that Gerald May so beautifully describes. I ate piles and piles of Mexican food in the dining hall. I watched sunsets streak across the high desert sky, explored untamed areas around the ranch, read Krakauer and Hesse and sat around campfires. My passion for exploration and challenge has been reinvigorated and I’m ready for whatever adventure lies ahead, whether it be tutoring or traveling.

Life can move pretty quickly sometimes, especially while we’re chasing our dreams and doing something that makes us forget to poop. Those moments are great. They invoke that flow state when time ceases to exist and can lead to supreme, genuine happiness. They’re also taxing. They require our full energy, both physically and mentally, to engage. And we get tired. And when you’re tired, slow down and eat.

Is it Thanksgiving yet?



One thought on “When you’re tired, slow down and eat

  1. Read as we ate (slowly) at Babe’s in Attleboro , MA. Visiting family and OLD friends. Much to be grateful for -especially family & friends! Love you,Nan & Grampa

    Sent from my iPhone


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