I’ve been waiting and busing tables at a retirement home in Sherwood this past week (my new job). I start at 3pm and end at 9pm. I begin preparing the kitchen and dining room for dinner at 5 and finish up with the dishes and re-setting the tables for the next morning’s breakfast. This week I’ve gotten to work with another person, which makes the job go much quicker; working alone requires at least another hour to finish the job. I glance at the clock every once and a while, anticipating the end of the night as my legs grow more and more tired from standing up for so long. I wait for the residents to finish eating so I can begin cleaning up. But before that, they wait for us to get them their food. They sit in partial silence as, one by one, they’re served their dinners. The kitchen and our whole process of serving food is extremely slow and inefficient. Instead of filling up all the plates ahead of time so that the residents can get there food at the same time without waiting an hour at their tables, the cook prepares one plate at a time. This means the residents spend the majority of their time waiting for their food to show up in front of them. When they’re done eating, they say goodnight (and laugh a questionable goodbye) to each other and head to their rooms in anticipation of breakfast the next morning.
Today I suffered up the backside of Parrett Mountain during threshold intervals. And finished the workout with endurance/tempo for a solid five hour jaunt.
Later today, as I sat in the YMCA spin class, I noticed the back of one of the other guy’s shirt. It read “The Eternal Life: God’s gift to mankind for the suffering of Jesus Christ.”
Sometimes I realize that I (and almost everyone else) spends too much time looking forward to the next thing on their to-do list, while they spend too little time appreciating what they’re doing at the moment. It’s difficult not to be in a rush. I’m in a rush to get on a pro team and race in Europe. Other people are in a rush to get to work, get a raise, go on a vacation, have kids, get the kids off to college, retire, whatever. It’s all the same thing. Few people realize that, ultimately, the only thing to really look forward to is death. Everything else is just a step or two in between.
So while the guy at the YMCA is anticipating the after life, and the senior citizens are anticipating dinner, I’ve decided not to anticipate anything. During my intervals on the hill today, I didn’t look forward to the end of each 7.5 minute torture-fest. I soaked it in, realizing that nothing else other than what I was doing right then mattered and that I should appreciate doing them, because one day I’ll be old. And later I’ll be dead. Haha. It sounds good in theory. But I guess some things are a bit too intense to really appreciate at the time of occurrence. If I remember correctly, by the last few minutes of each interval I was not “soaking up the glory of the moment.” I was wheezing for it to end. Ironically, the sport I chose requires yearning for the finish line.