My name is Ivan.
I used to call myself “a runner” but now I just run.
As a runner, I never knew when to stop, or when to work out.
I want to develop as much speed, power, and endurance as possible, and that identity was getting in the way.
I couldn’t see past it. I couldn’t see all the variables that affected how fast I was one day, and how I recovered the next.
I’ve been asked before: How do you express your creativity in running?
By grabbing ahold of those very variables: How do you interact with a changing slope? How do you alter your breathing or your form to accomodate an increase in speed? How do you engage a running partner, or a fellow competitor, during the run?
Plowing through my long runs, unheeding of those variables, I thought myself above them. I thought I had control over my self-determination.
I did not. I was at their mercy, and I didn’t even know it.
I used to “be” a night person. Turned out to be adrenal dysfunction.
I used to “be” a very anterior forefoot-striker. Turned out to be a tightness in my hip and knee extensors.
I used to “be” aggressive, a smoker, a raw vegan, a dedicated drinker. They all turned out to be something else.
All of these minor identities were just getting in the way of my development of speed.
Anything I “am” is something that I consider too holy to screw with. Anything I “am” is because I consider it either a finished product, or an immutable property. Both are by definition off-limits to my creativity.
If you ask me now: What are you? Who are you?
I’ll tell you: Nothing in particular. No one in particular.
I look for ways in which I am presently someone in particular, or something in particular. Then I tear them apart. I juggle paradoxes. That’s how I express my creativity.
And in return I get speed.