Saturday, September 3, 2011

Revision Is This

I’ve run 10 miles. My legs are jelly. Blisters rub against the soles of my sneakers. Sweat drips down my face, burning my eyes, and my shirt is drenched.

I stumble and I fall to the ground, scraping my knees and palms against the concrete. I know I need to get up. I know the end is near. But I can’t. I’m tired, I think dully as I stare at the blood cutting its way to my knee’s surface.

And then I see her. My coach, strutting over to me, her eyes lit with fire.

“What are you doing?” she yells. “Get up! Don’t give up now that you’re almost there!”

I stare up at her. She looks a whole lot like me, except she’s got muscular legs and arms and her ponytail bobs with just as much enthusiasm as her words. She’s even holding a timer and a clipboard with a list of goals and aspirations.

Then another person, who also has a strange resemblance to me, rushes over. She’s wearing soft pink pajamas and hooked in the crook of her arm hangs a wicker basket filled with books and sweets.

“Leave her alone!” Pink PJ girl tells my coach. “Running is the most ridiculous pastime. And she’s not even good at it. Look at her!” Then to me, “Forget this nonsense. What you need to do is forget about running and relax with a good book, a comfortable pillow and some chocolate.”

Pink PJ girl has a point. I do need rest. And at times this run has felt pointless. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going in useless circles or even the right direction. I look down at my aching body and my bloody knees. I sure don’t look like a runner. More like I’ve been through combat. Besides, her proposal sounds tempting. Especially since she’s holding out to me a copy of Hunger Games and Pride and Prejudice along with a bag of dark chocolate.

But then my coach says, “You were destined to run. The time to rest is coming. But first you must finish the race!”

Her words fill me with hope and somehow I stagger to standing, groaning as my muscles cramp up. I push away Pink PJ girl’s soft pillow and sweet chocolate and I start running. Because my coach is right. This is what I was meant to do.


And nothing is going to stop me from reaching the finish line.

(Okay, so I'm being slightly dramatic *grin*. But do you ever feel like this? And for more specific ways on what I've been doing in my revisions this last summer, click over to the MiGs blog where I blogged about it)


Kimbra Kasch said...

Heck I always feel like that ;)

I ran six miles today and I run a lot but it never seems to be EZ - what's up with that? I'm supposed to get better with practice, right? Maybe I need a good book and some chocolate. Yep, that's what I need. I'm putting on my pink PJs and curling up with my best buddy - my books...

Caroline Starr Rose said...

This is funny -- I DID run ten miles today, and it wasn't fun, just like parts of writing aren't fun (first drafts for me). :)

Christina Farley said...

Kim and Caroline- yeah for running! I'm so impressed. You guys rock.

Unknown said...

It's been so many months since I've had the pleasure of revising a manuscript, but I haven't forgotten how it feels--like tearing a garment apart shifting, cutting, eliminating some of the pieces, and then carefully sewing it together again.

Best wishes, Christina!

Tony Van Helsing said...

This is a great analogy, however the sight of myself wearing pink and carrying sweets would make me run harder than my coach self could.

Christina Farley said...

Angelina- You are so right!

Tony- You made me laugh so hard

Angela said...

working out and writing / revising do have a lot in common.

I agree with everything you said except --- Christina, I think you do look like a runner!!!

I'm revising now, too and I feel like the finish line keeps moving!

I know we'll both get there - and I'm glad it's not a race!!!


Christine Fonseca said...

HA! Love the analogy. My finish line on these revisions keeps moving too...but I am determined to "win the race" and cross that line.

Samantha Vérant said...

Uh, yeah! I feel like that all the time. BUT I'm also a weirdo who likes to go for the burn. Yep, I love edits and revising.