The only people I know who are more interested in weight than runners are runners who are actually trying to lose weight. I’m not at that place anymore, but at one time I was. But the thing about runners is that they worry about weight differently than a majority of the public. Instead of body weight, they worry about the weight of their shoes, water bottles, race nutrition, and even clothes. If you a non-runner how important a few ounces on a pair of shoes, the answer would probably be a blank stare or perhaps an eye roll. Ask a runner, and you may need to find a place to sit while they explain their personal shoe weight theories or philosophies.
Today, I did a 16 mile run, as per my training plan. I did so with a hydration backpack, which I have never done before (don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll bore you later with my personal hydration philosophies relatively soon). As soon as I strapped on that backpack and cinched it up, I realized that I couldn’t ignore that weight as I ran. I changed the way felt I should run. My legs strained under the newly added 2 liters of water, which affected the way I felt, especially at the end of the run. As I messed with straps on the move, I began to ask myself this question:
If this weight needs such constant tending to in order to keep it from slipping, chafing, and getting in the way, in general, why don’t I do that with the weight I carry in my normal, daily life?
We all carry weight, a burden of responsibility or shame or guilt or fear. However, if you’re like me, we can easily pick up too much and try to run with it. At what point do we put something down? At what point to we have to take off the backpack and rearrange the contents? My guess is that we all carry a little too much and refuse to tend to the task of carrying it. Even a life with time to spare, like a backpack with room still in it, needs to be adjusted, tightened, and lived with. In our culture of bootstraps and carrying on, we can try to ignore the load. But here’s the kicker, many of us are carrying too much. We aren’t meant for that to be our burden. So, without carrying on (yes, that’s a pun) too long on this subject, I ask you the same question I asked myself:
What are you carrying and are you tending to your load, or ignoring it and letting it take control of you?