Oct 26, 2013

It's been almost three years since my last full marathon. Three years! So much has happened since then. Blogging and writing was such a huge part of my training-- so often on those long runs along the beautiful oceanfront, I would literally have to chase my words back home and write them down. I had so much to say about life and my experiences at that time, and I learned so much about myself as I got so many opportunities to reflect.

I'm definitely in a different space with my training than I was back then. And while my steps along the boardwalk feel all too familiar, I rarely chase words anymore. At first that fact scared me, because the inspiration that I'd find was incredibly comforting.

This time around, things are just different. I'm different. Running highs are few and far between, and I've really had to dig deep to find motivation to even get out the door, let alone keep going at mile 12. I think it's funny that sometimes we are afraid of new or different experiences. I loved training for my last marathon, and I kept wanting this experience to be the same. But how can it? I can't go back, and I shouldn't want to.

Today I woke up and went out for a 9 miler. I unexpectedly caught a high about 3 miles in. It was so funny, because when it came and by the time I realized it was there, in my head I'm thinking..."Yayy! It's here! How can I hold onto this??"  For a few seconds I was frantically trying to think of ways to keep the feeling around.

Luckily, I've grown a bit as a person and a runner, and had the sense to stop myself before the moment passed and I missed its gorgeousness. I knew that the only thing I could do in that moment was to smile and enjoy it. It sounds so cliche, but it was huge for me. I gave up my attempts to control, and just hung out and let go. There are no real ways of holding onto anything, really. The very best things in life are fleeting.

So, I shook off the notion of trying to contain the feeling and finally allowed it to simply pass through me. I took a deep breath and truly savored how amazing it is when everything is aligned. My breath. My pace. My heartbeat. The music in my ears. As I felt the moment leaving, I continued to smile with gratitude, looked up and noticed a sad looking lady sitting on a bench. We made eye contact, and I passed my smile on to her. It was really beautiful.

There's a quote by Lao Tzu that I love.

"If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present."

There have been a several times in my life that I have been wrapped up in moments. Some of the darkest moments come to mind, as well as a few of the most dizzyingly amazing ones where it felt like my heart would burst. The commonality of them all was the fact that I have always tried to control them as they are happening to me. To change or run away from the bad, or desperately hold onto the good. Through my runs, I've learned that this is a serious waste of time. My worst runs on record aren't so bad in the scheme of things. Each one has been an opportunity to learn, grow, and exercise gentleness and patience with myself.

And in those most unexpected moments when the running gods decide to give me a great mile or two, I now know to breathe deep and smile.


1 comment:

  1. Such a wonderful metaphor for life in general. All the things we try to control takes away the opportunities for growth and learning.
    Beautifully written post.
    Good luck with the marathon.
    Inshallah we can hang soon!!!
    www.jadeblyssjourney.blogspot.com

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Hello! So glad you're here. This is my little space to blog about life, love, and being a mom on the run. I'm an American girl married to a super cute boy. We're LDS and we've got three little monkeys that we love on pretty hard. I run a little shop called Interwoven where I curate fancy rugs. My family and I live in Abu Dhabi- the land of sand, shawarmas, and Lamborghinis. We are hoping you stick around and share in our little adventure! Ahlan wa Sahlan!
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