Thursday, February 3, 2011

the zone

I often wonder if I'm the only one walking around thinking to herself, am I normal?
do the rest of you out there live confidently, purposefully, accepting that how you are is how everyone else is, some sort of normal?
or are some--or all--of you like me, wondering just how off center we really are?

today, this has to do with the zone.
you know, that place people go when they're in a groove, physically exerting themselves, pushing hard and putting their mind somewhere that doesn't recognize the pain, the shortness of breath, the stress, the Idonwannabehere of it all.
I've heard about this place.
I'd really like to check it out, learn how to get there, stay for a while.
but the address is still eluding me.

this morning in power camp we did 8 intervals of 4 minutes zone 5 (the highest zone) followed by 4 minutes recovery in zone 3 (a low work zone). zone 5 is never much fun to get to, and going up and down a bunch of times is one of the toughest things we do. (for me, that is: who knows what all the other normal people think.)
our instructor mentioned getting in the zone, and hanging out there while we were up in zone 5.
so I tried to get there.
but what keeps happening to me is that my mind begs for distraction, and starts counting something. next thing I know I'm doing math, calculating just how many more whatevers will add up to one minute, or ninety seconds, or however much longer I think I have before I can take the tension off and breathe again. or I'll do some other kind of math, adding the minutes I've already been in zone 5, or adding the minutes remaining, thinking about the difference between what I have to do and what the "sport" or "elite" athletes have to do (which would be 3 minutes, and 5 minutes, respectively, in that zone 5 place) . . . in other words, I fixate on numbers. counting up, counting down, getting stuck on this math thing in an effort to take my mind away from the fact that my legs ache and I can't breathe very well, and that sweat's pouring down my forehead and back and I just really don't want to be working as hard as I am.

I can't seem to get to that zone.

I can't do it running, either. I'm always thinking about how far I've come, how far I still have to run, how many blocks are ahead of me, how many more songs will play before my miles are in, if the pain in my side is ever going to ease, if my knees really hurt or I'm just imagining it, if my shoes are getting dirty, if that car will see me and move out of the bike lane in time to avoid hitting me. I don't get to the zone.

but I've heard it's out there. I've heard it exists.
and I'll be darned if I give up my efforts to find it.
because I have this belief that someday I'll uncover the address, and I'll zip right there, turning my head for nary a distraction. I'll hang out in the zone, I won't be tempted to count a single thing, and time will just fly right past me.
someday, I will learn exactly how to get to the zone.

and perhaps it's there that I'll bump into all of the normal people, the ones who have known how to get there all along.

No comments: