A couple of months ago I reached another one of life’s turning points and decided to take up running again. I actually hate running (strong word but have you tried running??? It seriously hurts) but knew that it would be the quickest, cheapest and most effective way to kick start my new, fit, life. I had also just read this.
And so I bought some shoes, a jacket and some chocolate and made a plan. I would start tomorrow.
And I did , kind of only it didn’t end up being as regular, fast or graceful as I’d hoped it would be and as a consequence of that I am only a smidgen fitter and am still living with one foot (and wobbly butt cheek) in my old life.
But I am not a quitter and so today I gave it another go. I was going to run to the supermarket! It was to be an undulating 8km gruel-fest under 26c autumn skies. Ouch?
I set off at a decent speed, thinking ‘breathing, cadence, knees, boobs, phone-WTF do I do with my phone?????’ Stopping for a second I shove my phone down my pants, think ‘gross’ then opt for the back of my bra top thinking that the extra fill-age will actually help reduce the bounce that the old and slightly saggy bra top is prone to deliver. Sensing success I resumed my trot determined to see my road out before giving in and I did. I ran down the road, down the hill and past the Sunday church crowed until I realized that I was now running up a hill and it hurt.
It was then that a thought came to me. I started to walk and instantly became more connected to my environment again. I started to enjoy the birds singing – couldn’t hear them through my heavy breathing and elephantesque foot thumping. Started to enjoy the warmth of the sun against my back, the easy rhythm that my body had found and the way that each footstep seemed to be propelling me far more efficiently (and maybe even more quickly) than my running had done. Could it be that running isn’t my ‘thing’?
Anyone who knows me from my youth will know that running was my thing. I ran lots and raced plenty and while I was never the best, I was always a contender and could pull a rabbit out of the hat when needed. My how things have changed……
While walking I start to think about the advice that my hypnotherapist gave me. ’find some way to relax, to just ‘be’. Sensing my slightly manic demeanor would not be the kind to ‘just sit and stare at a flower’ she advised an active meditation such as walking. I smiled at the irony of my current situation!
So with that in mind I decided to re-brand my run as ‘active meditation’ guided by my body. I know, that all sounds a bit hippy-love-fest but it really wasn’t. I was a woman on a mission.
Bodies naturally run down hills I found as each one approached. Resisting the urge to pick up the pace and flap ones arms a little is impossible -even when you are 37 and are doing it in full view of the neighbours. I guess that’s what listening to your inner ‘self’ does for you.
I also found that mulching piles are fun to jump over, leaves piles are still oh so satisfying to stamp on and cats curled up in weird yoga positions by the side of the road really do need their photograph taken. This was indeed fun.
But I hadn’t forgot that while this waking meditation was turning out to be good for my soul, I was also in need of some fat busting and so for most of the time the pace was pumping – funny how fast you can go when you are not torturing yourself with the ‘r’ word………
I made the 8km in a little over 50 minutes which is certainly not bad and absolutely good enough to count at a fat blasting activity. However, the real winner today was my mind. As usual I consciously knew what I needed but as usual it just took a bit of time for me to get out of my own way – I was trying to run on autopilot. While I walked I wondered how many time in life this happens…….
As I finished my active meditation another thought came into my head. ’define running’. Running is a form of terrestrial locomotion characterized by regular periods where both feet leave the ground. Did I do that today? Hell yeh! Further, ’a run’ is where you to the aforementioned activity continuously between two points – a and b. Nobody said anything about a and b having to be home and back after 8 KM! I had run, continuously down every hill from here to there so I think I can say yes to that one too.
So, today I went for a run and it was jolly good fun actually!