But that's not to say that I don't dabble in the mystical.
For example, my spirit animal is a Labrador Retriever. No question about it, take it to the bank.
Let's examine further:
I'm loyal, loveable, happy, and friendly to everyone I meet. In a dog it's a wonderful quality, but I find that my fellow humans tend to get freaked out by it a bit. Also, it's gotten me into a fair bit of trouble over the years. Sometimes I get so stoked to meet friends or go on adventures that I'll make plans in a fit of excitement, only to later remember that I have no ability to actually fulfill those commitments*. I just get caught up in the moment.
*More on that: I'm a pretty regular dude. A 40+ hour per week job takes up a ton of my time, physical energy, and mental clarity. And when I'm not at work, I have an incredible wife and two rambunctious dogs with whom I love spending time. All of this makes it very hard for me to find a place in a Boulder trail running community that values day-long adventures, ass-kicking vert, and post-run beers. Most of my runs have to be "squeezed in." It's why I tend to be so active on social media: it's my way of feeling connected to others who love the same weird sport I do. So please forgive me if I don't show up to the early morning social run. I desperately want to be there, but more than likely I had to work until 2AM the night before.
Labs are also famous for being clumsy. That means sliding around on wood floors, backing into tables, and tail-whipping drinks. With me, it means....well, a lot of the same things. I can't be trusted to paint anything without ruining carpet or clothes. If coffee or a meal is on the agenda, I know to avoid wearing light-colored shirts. And you'd better believe that the toe of my shoe will find every rock in the trail. But I do it all with a big dumb smile on my face.
As for exercise, I basically just copy and pasted the following passage about Labs: I have energy to spare. I love running, hiking, swimming and playing fetch for hours on end. A simple stroll around the block isn't gonna cut it. I need to run every day in order to burn off excess energy. If I'm not properly exercised, I become destructive and chew anything I can get my mouth on.
And there's more in there about being great with kids and having a strong desire to please, but you get the picture.
This is who I am. I'm learning to love the tricky parts along with the wonderful parts. It's not always easy, but neither is running. And on my journey to self-acceptance, I hope you can take me for who I am, too.
What's your spirit animal?