I’ve heard there’s 50 shades of Grey. But someone once pointed out to me there are actually over 260-something shades of Grey. That’s a lot of space between Black and White. I used to love living in Black and White. I thought life was so much simpler and easier then. Plus Black is my favorite color and it’s slimming.
Understanding that there are so many variations of Truth between Black and White really made me mad. It made life so much more complicated and harder, I thought; until I stopped trying to force a Grey to be Black or White, something it’s not.
I loved the certainty of Black or White. It is or it isn’t. Right or Wrong. Yes or No. Left or Right. It’s easy to categorize people and and issues and decisions this way. Put it in its proper column, and walk away. Of course, Life had been preparing me all along to see Grey, but for most of my life, I refused to acknowledge there was anything other than Black or White. Because there is no certainty in Grey. Running was the pivotal impetus to my letting go of certainty. I used to truly believe I physically did not have the capacity to run a mile. Black or White: I certainly couldn’t do it. So I didn’t. Until I was in my 30s. I finally ran a mile, without stopping–and no one was chasing me with a gun. I hated it, it hurt, and I was slow. But I did it, and I couldn’t believe it. I realized then that I could do anything, I just had to believe it. It was so empowering. Through the years, I worked my way up to running 13.5 miles. At one point I thought I couldn’t do it. Now I know I can. 2 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles, 9 miles, 11 miles, 13 miles–a spectrum of all different shades of Grey.
I’m having trouble with the Grey right now. I’m accepting my body is different now after injuries, age and over-use. I’m struggling with deciding which shade of Grey I ought to choose now. I need to make some decisions in the next month. The Black option is not running any half-marathon race. The White option is running three within 15 days. The Greys range from registering for all three and definitely doing one, playing the other two by ear depending on how my body is feeling; or registering for all three and definitely doing two while seeing how the third goes; or registering only for two and calling it a day; or only registering for and completing one and calling it another day; or playing them all by ear and hope registration doesn’t close before I decide; and then there are all the different Greys on how to train: frequency, intensity, mileage…
There are so many scenarios of how this could play out, I realized there really are hundreds of shades of Grey, and none of them are right. They are all still Grey. I’m struggling though with balancing the hard-earned belief of being capable of doing anything, and realistically bumping into a wall of Grey.
I used to seek clarity in life, search for an understanding. I intellectualized everything, I lived inside my head, where Black and White thrived. Where there’s clarity, there’s certainty. Now I pray for, and breathe in, peace and acceptance with everything and everyone in my life. Because Grey is opaque, and stare as you might at any shade of Grey, there is no clarity there. There’s just Grey: foggy, misty, nebulous.
So I’m not pressed to make a decision just yet. I’m waiting to see how things unfold, and how I feel–my knees, my back, my head, my heart. I trust that everything will play out as they will. In my races and in my life. I know I will make my decisions when it’s time, when the fog lifts just enough and a particular shade of Grey resonates. I hope it’s a slimming shade.