A note: I FINALLY HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME! Our router died, and it took us this long to get a new one. Please forgive my absence, mmmkay?
My parents were in town a few weeks ago for a visit. And as is their custom for the past half decade or so, there is ALWAYS a discussion whereupon my father or mother says, somewhat wonderingly:
Where did you get this Running Thing from?
(Ummmmm… actually, Mom and Dad, now I bike and swim too!)
I recognize that from the outside, it’s hard to understand why I, willingly, wake up before 4am in order to get a workout done in the mornings. It’s hard to fathom the hours I put into swimming and biking and running – unless you are into it as well. Even Jeff thinks I’m crazy to spend as much time doing what I do.
It’s possible I AM a little crazy for doing it. I certainly was obsessed years ago. That obsession has faded into a feeling of, well, this is just what I do.
There’s a moment in every workout: The intake of breath as I stand in waist deep water in the pond, regarding the rising sun, before I plunge my face into the cool water to start my swim… The warmth and strength in my legs as I pedal my bike hard, my eyes streaming from the wind in my face, the sun warm on my shoulders… The cadence of my feet as I run, my breath coming rhythmic and regular, my heart beating strong.
In those moments, tension and to dos and thoughts and worries and responsibilities all melt away.
I am fully present in this body of mine, with its strength and fatigue and heavy limbs and aching muscles.
I’m alive, I’m breathing, I’m present.
I’m Enough, and all the Not Enoughs that dog me relentlessly most moments fade away, leaving me with just, well, ME, in the afternoon/evening/morning air.
I am everything and nothing.
I am human and alive.
And then, when I get tired, I find that edge of discomfort, and I tuck myself away on one side, breathing, watching my mind scream, I can’t! and comforting her with a you CAN. You ARE.
It’s so empowering: finding that edge, the place where you think, I can’t do this! And then going past it, turning back to see it behind you. It’s made me more flexible, willing to tolerate discomfort in my regular life. It’s helped me make changes which allow me to creep ever closer to my True Self; becoming aware of myself deeper than the voice in my head, the one that dictates all the tasks of my days.
That, Mom and Dad, is why I run and bike and swim.