“It’s exhausting work exploring the depths of our darkest emotions. When they are freshest, thoughts smash around our skulls like possessed plant equipment; we feel like there’s a broken record playing up there. Our thoughts playing some sick game of psychosomatic hide and seek with our clenched and twisted guts. Coming out of an ultra, it’s safe to say we’re fatigued. The exhaustion lingering from the event washes away our self defenses, and this conscious scraping back of the soul further erodes our reserves, allowing unbidden thoughts and feelings to threaten the already threadbare fabric of our sanity.

But what becomes of us if we shy away from the introspection? Does denial simply buy us time while these emotions ferment in our subconscious? Or am I being melodramatic?

Maybe spending time, a day or two, ignoring these things is just what they need. Dismissal, pure and simple. But then again, perhaps the real benefit of endurance sport isn’t physical but spiritual. That enduring the ceremony and imbibing the potion of hormones our body releases puts us in a state so receptive to self-exploration that it’ll be damn near sacrilegious to ignore it. There’s certainly been no shortage of writers, poets, artists, and musicians who’ve found the Black Dog to be their greatest muse.”

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darkness

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