I want to show up for today like I do when I line up at the start line of a race – ready, excited, fully alive and in touch with that Power that’s so palpably close to our hearing and our touch and our eyes.
But my muscles are achy and I’m dopey with fatigue and the kids are crying and asking incessantly for their milk while our yellow lab looks at me with his pleading eyes to go out and play fetch. And so starts the day against the backdrop of the 3rd and 7th Step prayer, the serenity prayer and a bunch of other stream of consciousness prayers that I’ve picked up along the way in sobriety.
And the questions to be begged are these: why continue to be sober, why continue to head out the door for the next run? What makes today so different from the last? And are you looking for the next small miracle that’s born out of the consistency and routine of a disciplined life? And isn’t that part of The Promises, isn’t that the point? – to stay the course, to put one foot in front of the other and soak it all in – the pain, the soaring emotions, Nature’s wild hues and the subtle life that’s continually bursting forth as we’re traveling through space? The answer? Fuck, yes!!, even if the answer nor the questions make any sense or not – because without all of that, it really is just another dull day with its concerns and dust and dying spirit within. And you and I have lived enough of those days to know that we don’t want to live them again.
So go ahead and look at us like we’re lepers, like we’re nearly full-on crazy and lost – we like it that way thank you very much. There’s something to be said, don’t you think, about going to the depths of destruction and crawling out with those who you find there? We get a chance to live a life uncommon so why not try to pack everything we can into the stream of life as our Big Book instructs (86)?
Sorry for getting a little off the beam there and being more poetic than practical – the 12 Steps and the principles of AA help me get ready for the twenty-four hours ahead in the most practical ways. Taken one day at a time, they help prepare me for what’s to come: good, bad, or indifferent – accept I must and keep moving forward. Which is quite a bit like long-distance running isn’t it? – get up, put the work in, give thanks, try to share what I receive, and trust in our training…repeat. Sounds quite a bit like that famous AA refrain, “Trust God, clean house and help others.” So simple and so practical – this AA way of life and life of running helps us line up for today – though far from perfect in our expectations and our actions, I’d have to say I’m one of the lucky ones…running and praying my ass off.