Sunday, August 29, 2010

S.O.S.

"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."
 -Julia Cameron



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.  

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