Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Happy Almost Thanksgiving

Well I have been extremely delinquent here for a long time. Almost two years, in fact. I've been trying to figure out why that is and I've reached some important conclusions.

The first and most important is that I've spent the last couple years trying to figure out what I want to be doing with all my time that isn't spent at work. For the last five years or so, I've claimed that one of my ambitions is to be more involved in comedy and to put up lots of good stuff. I've put up some, sure, but not enough to make the strides I'd like to make creatively.

Maybe the next logical thought is what that even has to do with my athletic endeavors. I ask myself that frequently because I know the two can coexist and I've written about that struggle. But I've really only written about it from one angle, which is the logistics of it all. I have historically been very bad at waking up in the morning to work out, which leaves me with the evenings. Unfortunately, all of anything I would be doing in comedy happens in the evening, as well. The truth I've been forced to confront in the last two months is that I can't do both well if I only have the evenings to make that happen. I can either be really good at running or put a lot of time into improv/sketch/storytelling, but I can't do both well.

Over the course of the year, I've taken almost the entire improv curriculum at The People's Improv Theater. It has enhanced my life in ways I didn't even know were possible. I've become a better improviser and performer and also gotten the courage to get up onstage to tell a story in front of hundreds of strangers. I've also met another outstanding group of people (in addition to The Chupacabra Conspiracy) with whom I've been able to perform and collaborate.

Spending time learning and performing with both groups over the past year has forced me to confront the deeper truth that there's more risk for me in pursuing my comedy than there is in pursuing running and triathlon.

Running and triathlon are a part of who I am. Although I can exist without doing them regularly, I feel less myself without them. I have a lower baseline happiness when I don't make time for running, in particular. What I love about running and what I've always loved about it is that I generally know what I'm getting myself into. I'll be happy with my results as long as I show up and do the work. My race results might not be quite what I want them to be if I haven't done the right workouts, but there's at least a level of satisfaction but just getting out there and getting in some miles.

The same is not quite true with comedy, and probably many other creative endeavors. It's not enough to show up and put in the time. I run for myself. I make comedy to evoke an emotional reaction from other people.

EDIT: I started this a couple weeks ago, but can't bear to see it go unpublished for too long, like so many other posts I start. So I'm leaving the heading outdated, as is. Stick with me. I'll figure out how to make it all work.

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