If I am going to blog about yesterday's run, why is there a photo of boxing gloves at the top of my post? I had an aha moment yesterday morning as I was preparing to go on my run. I spend a lot of time fighting; shadow boxing really because there is nothing to fight. There is no me against ....; only me against myself. By bringing the fighting into my awareness, I am able to release it and release a lot of the energy that has been bound up in this struggle.
I know that there have been many, many times when I wish I did not have to work 'so hard' at keeping myself healthy. I wish that I could do a little stretching, don my running clothes and out the door I go with my husband Tom as we run a 9 minute mile for a long run stride by stride, side by side. Cut. Print. It's a beautiful scene in my mind's eye. Feeling it in my imagination makes me smile.
Back to yesterday. It was cloudy and cool out and unlike other runners, I much prefer sun and warmth. It's the way my body is wired right now. So many times I would brave and fight against the cold ignoring how I really felt about all of this. But before yesterday's run I felt a sense of sadness for what is or what I wish could be but side by side with the sadness I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation. The 'wishing for' was transformed into loving acceptance.
Before I began the practice of yoga, it was a struggle for me to work out. I pushed myself and used as a motivator the comments I would receive on Daily Mile, Just Finish or Facebook. My favorite is from my friend, Doug Welch who would say 'strong work.' I was running or working out to please others. I would focus on PR's and what my pace was not so much for inner satisfaction but to receive validation from the outside in. Yes, I was still proving myself. I was fighting against internalized voices and I was fighting against the voice of self loathing.
Once I tapped into the struggle and how I was feeling, and released the desire to have a big breakfast and just lounge around, I experienced a very different kind of run from what I have experienced in the past. I ran inside my body. I ran for me. As Tom and I were running up a hill, the scene from Matthew Sanford's book "Waking" came to mind. It didn't matter how I looked running up the hill; what mattered is how I felt in my body. I didn't struggle up the hill. I felt connected to my body in motion. I was in the moment, experiencing the green on the trees and the smell of Spring in the air. I was doing this run for a good cardio work out and to train for upcoming road races.
My perspective about road races has shifted as well. I again looked inside and focused on why am I choosing to run road races? The number one reason for me now is - It Is Fun! I love the camaraderie of the runners; I love the energy of people being outside and doing something that is healthy. I love being a part of a scene that still holds newness and excitement for me since I began running only 3 years ago. I release all expectations. I move inside my body and check in with how much I can challenge and when I need to, as Sarah Sturges says, 'do less.'
During yesterday's run I felt a thrill. I felt joy that I could be in the outdoors allowing my heart rate to climb running next to my husband. He power walked to my pace but it didn't matter. He made sure that I kept a good strong pace and had me check in with both how I was feeling and what my heart rate monitor said. We looked at the beauty of the reservoir and noticed a turtle sitting on a rock. There was a flock of geese who took off together in unison.
During the final stretch of our run, I took off into a sprint. I felt so free in my body in that moment. To prepare for the sprint I harnessed the image of the warrior. I felt the power and connection to the Divine. I channelled the goddess within. I felt whole. I was alive in that moment and joining with myself to be the healthiest and best I can be. And that's all that mattered. It was a different kind of run.
God bless, be well and live like you were dyin'
From my heart to yours with love and light,
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