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  • Joy SpearChief-Morris

The Countdown: An Ode to Base Season

Photo by Derrick Johnston

Standing at the front of the pack. Heartbeat racing, breathing deepens, feeling that I might puke or pass out on the spot where I stand. And remembering, we’re just getting started.


My legs feel like lead. Those few extra pounds of comfort from the off season are sitting on my body feeling heavy as I run right now. Just a short period of time off, barely a couple months, and yet everything I was capable of doing easily then feels incredibly more difficult now. I’m out of breath. Dizzy. Unable to see where I’m going except knowing I have to run to the finish line. And then, walk back to the start line and do it again. And again. Two minutes on the clock to get back to where I started. There are more repeats to do.

That time off was needed. A break was needed. Physically. Emotionally. Unrequited feelings from last season are still largely felt, like a good scrape to the shin or a bruise to the knee; you're fine and fully capable of moving on no problem, but there's still that reminder of it all sticking with you. The tinge of dissatisfaction. Goals left feeling just incomplete. These feelings are my fuel for a hunger that is driving me into these workouts, into this new season. The desire to pick up where I left off; the pursuit of that glory, of that dream. It doesn't end because the season does.

A new season, the same dreams. The same goals as before, but a different hunger has me reaching for more. It tells me that I want more than I thought I deserved before. And yet, there's still apprehension. There’s still the doubts: will I be strong enough? Will I be ready? Will everything align when I need it to the most?

The lactic sets in as I run and my legs beg to be done. My body and my lungs are yelling that we're not ready for this. Then again, isn't that what base season is for? It tosses you into the unknown of what is to still to come, reading you to let go of all the baggage from the past and prepare you for what's next; building you up so that you will be ready when the time comes. Every step, every breath, every ache, moving you closer to your goals, to your dreams.

Photo by Derrick Johnston

I will be ready. Those feelings of not being enough have gotten old. They're hanging on me like extra weights from seasons past. Not enough when it counted doesn't suit me anymore. It doesn't serve me now. Time for inspiration: from those past who continue to inspire me, and new inspiration. Inspiration from myself. I know I have what it takes, and I know that I'm enough. I know where I deserve to be; where I never dreamed I could be before. Pushing through the pain of these last reps, it's time to shed those pounds.

Last click on the stopwatch for the day. The lactic sets in further. Exhaustion in having given everything I had, yet knowing that I’ve got so much more. Parks traversed, hills climbed; a few more still to conquer. There’s still weeks to go. Months left until the final build up. Time still to adjust to the new of this year and readjust to the old and the familiar.

Closing my eyes now and grounding myself to the vision of this next season: the big one. A few weeks down in the books, yet still more to write down. Here we go.

The countdown is on.

Photo by Derrick Johnston

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