Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Running in the Moments
I remember that first day in February when I got on the treadmill. I gave it a long hard look and wondered if I had forgotten how to run. It had been years since I felt those air like strides. As fearful as I was, I couldn't wait to feel that freedom running brought. I couldn't wait to experience the exhilarating force of energy and joy that your strides can produce. Running meant joy and peace. When I run everything is just as it should be - in the moment. Worries, anxiety and plans are left at the start. Calm, acceptance and peace await like celebratory friends at the end of a race.
Since I started adding mileage to my runs my focus has shifted a little. During the week I am focused on increasing speed. I'm usually anxiously waiting for the voice in my earphones that gives my pace and time. When I hear an unsatisfactory time I speed up and try to focus on relaxing my stride etc... Performance takes over my mind and joy slips away quietly.
When I started doing my long slow runs on Sundays, I made a decision to let the joy slip back in. For this run I pick the most beautiful spots along the lake and soak in the lake breezes. I love watching the water playing and rushing right alongside every stride. I love the sudden cool spots that surprise me every now and then. I especially can't wait to see the water facing lonely benches. Occasionally I'll see another runner who gives me a warm smile or a friendly nod.
The joy returns and the strategies, anxiousness, plans and pace slip away quietly. Running becomes what is has always been about - the moments within the moment.