He-who-trains has two looks that I hate getting. The first is his "I-don't-yell-ever-but-seriously?" look. It's the one that says "you're kidding with this, right?". (It's kinda like my dad's raised eyebrow look. Wow, I must've been an easy kid. Just a look stikes terror in my heart.) The second is the look of concern after I've fessed up to something-- like my knee hurting or being a little dizzy. It's the look that means he's gonna stop me from doing whatever it is that caused the problem.
I'm getting the first look a lot less often than I was. Maybe that's progress. But I'm getting the second look a lot more often than I'd like. If it weren't for fear of getting the first look, I might just not acknowledge that anything is wrong. Except that he knows. He always knows. (Um, he can have his back turned and know that I'm holding my breath. He's that good.)
My body (my spirit of ferocity?) has changed enough that I am beginning to actually get annoyed when he stops me. I just want to go. I just want to do this. I don't want to give it less than I have. I want to be all in. Just a few weeks ago, I was praying that he'd stop me-- you know, just so I could take care of the basics, like breathing. So I could franctically suck down water in hopes that I didn't just die right there. But now, something is different.
I have never been this person, but I feel like the kid that the whole team is counting on-- the one who has worked so hard. The one who it seems like always has the rotten luck of getting sidelined by an injury. The one who says "Put me in, Coach-- it doesn't matter if my leg is dangling at some unnatural angle-- I can play. I want to play. I need to play." But of course, no good coach would do that. No good coach would let stupidity ruin an athlete. No, the coach takes him off the field until his body can heal and restregthen, so he doesn't hurt himself.
The problem is that I have a good coach--one who values the long term goal much more than these five minutes. Not, of course, that that stops me from narrowing my eyes and saying (praying?) "please don't stop me. Put me in, Coach. I'm fine really."