"Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are."
I bailed on my long run last weekend. Just bailed. I'll list all the excuses: tired, horrible weather, achy, going through personal "stuff," etc., etc., etc. Yet, I was in a "vacation" location, my kids were taken care of and I had a week off from teaching Spinning classes. Oh, I read myself the second list many times. I tried every motivational technique I know. The excuses still won. And, I know that if I really, really wanted to do that run, I would have done it. Bottom line, I had made up my mind, at some point, that I wasn't going. I also know that it's when things are the crappiest that we are really shown what we are made of. Over this long weekend, I was obviously made for sitting on the couch.
I reflected on motivation and about all of the athletes, not just runners, that I admire. Do they have an off day? Do some of the great ultrarunners, whom I am just beginning to recognize, ever NOT want to run? I want to believe it happens, but I also have a feeling (correct or not) that they just love to do it so much that there's not much thought around it. For lack of a better cliché, they "just do it." Most often, I do too. I run on bad days, good days, away from problems, through problems, when I am happy and when I am stressed. I laugh, sing, complain and cry...hopefully not all on the same run! During some runs, I feel, in my body, the heavy weight of all that I carry. During others, my feet flow effortlessly. Yet, there are still those times when I just can't pull it together and get out the door.
At the same time, once I let go of this run, I didn't feel anxious or beat myself up for not getting it done. I consider this to be healthy and a sign of the growth I have accomplished over my 40 years. I know, if I want to run the October marathon and run my 40 birthday miles, I have to put in the training. However, I also now know that, in this instance, there was a secret conversation happening between my mind and body. I did not know how badly I needed it, but I needed to rest and detox. I sat around, I slept, I went to a day spa, surrendered in the saunas and sweated until I felt my spirit lighten. I got much overdue massages that dug deep into the physical body, releasing all I have the tendency to hold. I went to the movies by myself and cried. I sat in meditation with my teacher and friend, Terri, bringing in the energy to help me let go. As I sat there, on the floor of my own studio space, I was even more aware of how off-balance I have become. My body simply did not want to align. No wonder my right hip was pulling and burning during my 7-mile tempo run earlier in the day, my first one back in almost a full week.
This week was a reminder that, if I want to accomplish any physical goal, I need to prioritize "ME," on every level. My 40 miles will not happen if I don't put in the training, but they will also not happen if I don't pay attention to the other components of myself. Of course, I know this on an intellectual level. I would tell you the same thing. This week, I am grateful for the reminder.