Six months ago, I purchased a RunKeeper App for my IPhone, set some goals as usual, and assumed that running a Half Marathon was simply a matter of pushing through until I got to where I wanted to go. Not so much any more.
Suddenly I seemed to be in a whole new relationship with my body. The ‘pushing through’ transformed into a practice of patience and attentiveness as the entire experience seemed to be reorganizing my DNA. I found myself juggling the gap between ” I’m getting older so I should slow down, be gentle and not push myself too hard” to “if I don’t push myself, I’ll eventually slow down completely and UGH!, I don’t want to let age slow me down; I must keep on pushing against this tide in order to stay vital and healthy”.
The ten days before the run, I felt exhausted. In spite of the fear of not finishing, I decided to simply rest and listen to my body. What joy and relief to awaken on the day of the run feeling energetic and excited about the 13 miles of pavement waiting ahead. It was a glorious slow and steady run, filled with cool cups of Gatorade grabbed and tossed in every few miles along with multiple flavors of sugary Gu to keep us going. The bands were energizing, the weather cool and misty and the air filled with heartfelt hum of men and women doing something really great for themselves.
Our culture demands speed, precision, sharpness, success and I have done my best to be a disciple of them all. To what end, I ask myself. And who am I to become if and when I slow down, calm down, turn inward; allow rather then push; ask for help, say no. Somewhere inside of me though, it is already happening, almost on its own and from a deep well of wisdom.
I am unsure of this new ground and how to tread mindfully upon it. I am curious to explore its edges and look forward to the unfolding. Oh, and by the way, only 10ks from now on.