Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In Situ

I am an extraordinary sitter. I think it’s because I have such a sitting resume: I have spent literally years of my life sitting. And it’s not all one kind of sitting, I have explored the gamut of sitting, to the point that one could consider me, dare I say, a connoisseur of sitting.

It’s not something that’s come easy to me by the way. When I was young, I didn’t always like to sit. Sometimes I’d want to just run around, it was all anyone could do to get me to sit. Fortunately, like many child athletes, my parents pushed me in subtle ways. Books, toys, pleading… they knew that if I was to be the sitter I am today, I would have to commit to sitting in my youth. Oh sure, they made sure I had a complete life, but today I am capable of sitting for over 15 hours a day! Do you have any idea what that would do to a person who isn’t properly trained? And that’s not even counting the 8-9 hours of cross-training I do lying down every night!

There are many ways a person may sit, and many purposes for that sitting. Sometimes I’ll mix up my sits, using a “lounging sit” at work, or throwing a “gaming sit” out there when watching a movie. Sure it’s showing off, but when you’ve got it, flaunt it, right? I worked hard for this body, I’m not going to let it go to waste leaning am I?

When any high-performer looks back on their career, they’ll invariably point to the times when they couldn’t do what they loved as the worst days. Whether it’s because they got sick and could only bear to lie down, or when an injury sidelined them; it’s being taken out of the game that hurts the most. I’ll tell you… you don’t want to be in a room of accomplished sitters when a hemorrhoid sufferer walks through the door. Everyone tries to act normal but you know every one of them is thinking the same thing: “That could be me.” One long car ride too many… a hard bench… too much cheese… it’s tough knowing how quickly sitting can be taken away from you.

For me, the hardest time I ever had as a sitter came not from my career, but at home. It’s not an easy thing to talk about given the personal nature, but if marathon survivors don’t talk about their experiences then those going through the same thing will feel alone, and that is the far greater tragedy in my mind. In my instance, my wife was stricken by the marathon bug, and we knew that the only way we were going to get through it was together, no matter what that meant for my sitting. I knew that everyone at work would understand how important it was for me to spend that time not sitting, but you still can’t help thinking about everyone else sitting while you're not, logging hours that you are unable to. Inevitably you find yourself thinking “Will I be the same sitter when I come back?” Only time will tell.

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