Where has the year gone? Believe it or not, more than half of the calendar year is behind us now. Today, in mid-July, I find myself a little more at ease in my body. Some mornings come at me with a bit more in-my-face rigidity – leaving the onus on me to really let go and invite softening. It’s easier said than done but somehow, someway, I am finding it more and more possible.
On Friday afternoon, I drove out to a nearby open space preserve for a noontime getaway. It’s been many months since I’ve done this. Digging in my workout bag for my running gear was a somewhat foreign experience. It felt more like a search and rescue mission than the grab-and-go routine it once was. Not finding a few essentials, such as my jogbra and Vibram fivefingers: déjà vu. Yes, I have been here done that many times before. Thankfully, I know that I can make do and so I chose to wear my everyday and deal with the post-run sweat after the fact. In my trunk, I found an old pair of running shoes from back in the day when I actually wore traditional running shoes. “These will do”, I told myself, “Yes, these will do.”
I walked to the dirt and took a few uneasy running strides, quickly learning that my body was not ready to pick up the pace. I changed gears and down shifted back to walking for another ½ mile before trying again. The 2nd attempt was better. I felt my back tighten and took a few deep slow breaths into my belly and low back. I could taste the fear, bitter as it was. I acknowledged it and returned my attention to my breath and I kept moving. Soon, I was just running and breathing. My body had responded well to my calming approach; fight or flight mode turned off and the pain melted away. I continued on turning towards the hill with a level of effort that was not too hard OR too easy. Not good or bad. It just was.
By the time I returned to my cubicle, I had two large fluid-filled blisters on the arches of my feet and a sweat-soaked bra under my dry work clothes. These gifts, per se, served to keep me in the moment instead of mentally lingering in the (past) run or on to planning the next (future) run. As it was, I wouldn’t be able to run again until these blisters healed up. I didn’t care.
Unlike before, having needed my daily runs for sanity’s sake, I now can appreciate the moment for what it is and just let go of being attached to the next run before I’ve even cooled down from the run-just-finished. I doctored up my blisters and turned on my space heater to help keep my body warm and possibly speed the drying of my moist undergarment. I resumed my work, enjoying the clear head and more relaxed body.