My spin 'round the dance floor with Ruthless Aggression turned out the way aggression usually does: badly. Not much fun to be asked why I'm so mad and have people wonder if I'm trying to start fights with them. Apologies.
I guess the ice bath after speed work will be serving a greater purpose than relieving stressed muscles and tendons; it will also curb my obvious tendency toward violence and restore my Zen-like pacifism while I utter expletives through gritted teeth. Some people are ugly drunks. I'm an ugly endorphin junkie, I guess. I suggest you tread lightly when near me on Tuesdays.
The aggressive instinct that bubbles up after a hard run does make me think--which is often not a good thing, as I'm prone to hurling myself through the looking glass when too introspective. Nonetheless, there I was running 7.5 miles of trails this morning. I had to stop to trim my toenail with my fingernail because it was gouging the adjacent toe to a bloody mess, and that's when the thinking started. Granted, I'd been thinking before that, but about things like my inevitable tattoo.
Looking at my bloody toes, I started thinking about passion. An obvious thought, no doubt. Toenails, passion, longing, and desire. Not Ess-Eee-Ex necessarily, but you can go there if this gets too cerebral and you're thinking about Ms. Ruthless Aggression (or Tori Amos) from Tuesday.
I'm not talking about my passion for mint chocolate chip ice cream. I mean the kind of passion that bleeds you, makes you wretch as it wrings your gut, and even leads you to cry on occasion. The kind of passion that you would really rather not throw away, despite all that junk.
In other words, running.
People tend to think of passion chemically, like you need a spark or some reaction potential to make it happen. But I wonder. Go talk to a new runner, someone who isn't naturally athletic, about her first run. I've done that, and people use words like "hell," "humiliating," and "torture."
And then they go run again.
And then a year later, they wouldn't give up running for a life of daily facials or unlimited free booze (okay, maybe that one).
You start with "hell" and you wind up with passion. And passion for something that makes you feel kind of tortured on a regular basis. It's ruthless, but yummy. You probably could even start with something as innocuous as apathy and wind up with passion when it comes to running.
Even with the bloody toes and everything else. You find that one thing that becomes your art and it's yours for keeps. It's permanent and painful and lovely. And I won't give it up, the running.
Alrighty, enough introspection. Back to the tattoo. Where should I get it?