Balance And The Bucket List

“People speak of finding balance. To me, that’s a misplaced ambition. If you have balance, you do everything okay. But to excel at your craft, you need obsessive, unbridled fanaticism.” — Dean Karnazes, The Road to Sparta

Approaching the 12th Avenue North bridge on an early morning run, in the waning days of July,  I stared down the long incline to the top deck of the half-mile span.

For most of the year, I’ve been searching for a racing purpose — an epic adventure to consume my focus and training. As marathons in Fargo and Duluth exposed, though, sometimes the body just can’t follow where the heart and mind want to go.

This week, I’ll meet with a specialist to discuss surgery and other options, seeking relief and rehab for a core muscle injury that proves to be troublesome most of the time: sitting for long periods of time and sleeping not excluded.

Within the past few days, I began reading the latest Dean Karnazes book, and I can’t help but be inspired to take a long view of my running. For the better part of the past 18 months, I’ve focused on 3-month blocks to hammer out the next race.

But later this week, hopefully with some answers to a recovery plan, my view will shift to therapy and a long buildup for 2018. That likely won’t involve a 70.3-mile triathlon — I’d still like to tackle a half Ironman someday if not for my pitiful swimming — but it will probably include a major push for a special accomplishment and there are no shortage of races on the bucket list: Utah Valley, a return for redemption at Grandma’s Marathon, that Ragnar ultra, a fast fall race (St. George, Chicago, Philadelphia and California International) and running the Grand Canyon from rim to rim to rim.

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