Friday, May 22, 2009

running inward

although i didn't get to run yesterday i did some thinking about it. i believe that everyone: athletes, artists, musicians, philosophers etc. spend a lot of time thinking about the laybor they love. i came to the realization i flipped on the issue of where i run.
during the cooler months and crisp weather i didn't have the heart to run inside on the treadmill. I grateful it was an option but i wasn't choosing it. now that the weather has gone south (pun intended); let's just say it's really hot and humid, i choose the treadmill.
Initially i thought i would dread being locked into using it but i have felt a change of heart. When running outside there is a lot to consider: wildlife like snakes, raccoons, coyotes, wild bore, insects, etc. there is also traffic: road traffic and cyclists to manage. Then there is the unwanted attention from well intentioned neighbors, simple glances from passers by, to horn honking. Not being able to dispense with the social pleasantries i was compelled to the polite nod to other athletes or nature watchers. Now all of those 'distractions' come with perks like sunsets and sun rises. Additionally once your gone you have to get home.
Having said all that there is a lot to be said for running in a room alone. I have found attention and effort i used to have to spend on these other matters are directed inward. My running as become an inward experience a more private one. 'Lost in my imaginations' to quote the movie Happy Feet. Not lost actually, more like found. Going inward thinking and contemplating the thoughts and concepts that I study and explore when not running. Sometimes it's about the course of the day or my daily reading time or practical matters.
At its core it's a time for assessment where am I and where to I want to be. Where have I fallen short and where have I shown progress. What really brings me joy and energy, and what is taxing. I seem to require this extreme time of expenditure to accomplish what some can do sitting quietly.
Essentially it is the time to shut out the distractions and go into the closet of my heart and mind and determine the best and right course of action or inaction. Running is a private and personal matter and I think that's why so many runners talk numbers: rankings, neg. splits, distance pace, training schedules, ... to keep private what is truly personal. The numbers are a distraction from the journey. And not to downplay the need for stats they also reflect one's commitment and determination and talent. If you win NYC Marathon it makes a statement about the person. Likewise if you finish your first marathon and come in last, it may say more.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing and I will certainly keep this in mind the next time I'm not feeling happy to run on my treadmill in the garage, and stare at a block wall. I will appreciate the lack of stimulation :o)