10 hours of sleep & 10 miles. Effort & ease, truly.The last time I ran 10 miles was May 2013 for the infamous Broad Street Run in downtown Philadelphia. I remember getting brunch with my friend Janet afterwards, and sitting at the table and needing to go to the bathroom, I was scared to get up because I knew I would limp. That run took all of me. Last time I slept 10 hours may have been just as long ago.
There is a lot that running regularly again has shown me about myself – but the greatest revelation that’s come about is the parallel between the needs of my body and desires of my heart – shown through the contrast of my mind, my thoughts. When I’m running, my mind fills with “you’ve gone far enough,” “you’re so tired, let’s come back tomorrow when you’ll be more on your game,” Or my favorite, “but this is the place you always stop to check your phone/rest/drink water/tie your shoe.” What my body tells me, though, more of the time than not, is that it is just fine. That however I’m pacing or the act of running itself is exactly what it needs to physically and energetically release. My body is tired but because it’s burning away the bullshit, not because it “can’t” anymore. It doesn’t want to stop. My mind is what needs reeling in – similar to my practice on the mat.
Because of a regular mediation and yoga practice, I can see what this shows me. With my mind being the worst cheerleader ever for my physically body, what if my inner dialogue around my current state of life in all of its categories is the worst for my soul? What if when I think about how hard something is, or how much pain there is, or how much I rather be doing anything else in a given moment, or convincing myself with the lists of “shoulds,” what if my soul is quietly speaking “this is exactly what I need. It’s the right speed, good pacing, and I’ve just enough fuel. This is just right for me to grow stronger and more evolved.“What if the story I’m running in my mind is nothing like the journey my soul is actually taking? What if each time my mind said stop, I choose to consider and ask, “isn’t this exactly what is needed?”
Now that running has come back around for me, I’m keen on picking up its lessons. Heart first. It’s exactly what I need.