So, it appears that I have embraced a new kind of running. Who would have imagined that running in circles around town could make me feel so accomplished! But that is exactly how I feel. Earlier today, in the span of 1 hour and 15 minutes (including a pee break) I completed my first 10 k run. And with it, I passed over a metaphorical line in the sand that is charged with the beliefs I have about myself ~ what I think is or isn't possible. Today is a day of expanding possibilities!
In life, I think we tend to see ourselves as either running after or away from things. Let's face it, running away indicates a desire for change and freedom from perceived mistakes; a chance to start again. Running after smells of desperation. Like we can't quite get what it is we want, we just know that what we want lies beyond our reach.
When I began to entertain the idea of running just for the sake of running... I could almost not believe that such ideas were my own. In my heart I already knew that running away and after other things would serve only as a temporary distraction. But I did not yet believe in the power that running circles would have or the joy it would bring. Here are a few things I've learned from running in circles.
1. Running is hard. And to become a distance runner you must commit to practicing even when it is the last thing you want to do. So the most important thing I've rediscovered has been self-discipline. To do what I said I was going to do and not allow myself to quit. It is easy to quit. And running, in the scheme of things is a simple practice that can be done anywhere at anytime. So if I couldn't do this one thing and stick with it, what would that say about me? You know that proverb about being faithful in small things before you can be faithful in big things... this was my small thing.
2. Bodies need to move. Running is a wonderfully meditative practice. A mini personal coaching session I have with myself, a lot of "you can do this", "breathe, be in this moment, feel this pain, this breeze on your face, appreciate the blue sky above you" and most importantly giving thanks that this body works so well. I have two friends with MS and when I run I think of them often because it makes running feel like a gift and any pain a reminder of my good health fortune.
3. It is okay to just be. I have a lot of energy and sometimes I think that it serves only to confuse me about what I want out of life. Running has defused much of that energy, mellowed me out, smoothed me around the edges. I'm happier than I was a few months ago, content even.
For the time being, I'm going to keep circling. Moving with ever increasing centripetal force.