When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

...and then she went for a run.

The day that started grey and gloomy suddenly gave way to sun rays and lightened up the sky. She left her job, caught a bus to the place she parked a car in the morning, and drove the car to a park. The decision came spontaneous. Luckily, she always has a change of running close and a pair of trail shoes.
She carefully started out. She didn’t take her music along, and she could hear the birds chirping and the creek waters flowing. The trails were almost dry, the air moist, and the trees budding. She gave herself permission to walk anytime, and she used it. Yes, there was pain, but it was mild and didn’t bother her. No, she didn’t solve the world problems, but for awhile there was peace in her soul...

A couple of years back I had a side-job as a yoga instructor. Every now and then people would come up to me and ask if I meditate during a class or after. I had to always say the truth - yoga to me (and it could be different to everybody else) was a physical...well, not exercise, but a way of keeping my body aligned and healthy. Running long, on trails, on another hand, is totally meditative. If you ever ask someone who runs long - and the definition of it can be any range - what do they think about, most will respond - nothing. At first thoughts come visit and stay, kind of sit on a couch, and you actively entertain them. Then they stop by for a short moment, like on a not very comfortable chair. Later they just float by, without even saying as much as hello, and sometimes you forget them before realizing there were here. Clearing the mind? Running high? Who knows, nor is it important...

She came home, and there was a letter from her older son, short and dry, but with “I miss you” line in it. And the younger was smiling eagerly awaiting to play the new song he composed. And she thought - what the hell was she talking about? She has her kids. And she has two legs that can go one step after another. And these are enough reasons to live happily.


  1. Our spirits are fixed so nicely in those long runs!

    Great you are better now!

    I am someway already running with you! Thanks Olga.

  2. ...and she made me cry

    what a beautiful post

  3. This is one of the most beautiful essays on running I have ever read. Especially the second paragraph about how meditative running long can be, how thoughts come and go. Now you are the one expressing exactly how I feel.

  4. Great post! I love how you describe our thoughts while running :)

  5. You express yourself so beautifully!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. That's a fantastic post, and I'm glad you're happier now.

    People sometimes ask me if I'm not bored, running for up to 3 hours. No, of course I'm not. Then they want to know what I'm thinking while running. Nothing and everything is the answer. I can't really explain it, you have to experience it.

  7. I've gotten lost in races "clearing the mind, running high, thinking of nothing". I've blown by friends because I was somewhere else mentally. It's a wonderful time to be away from everyone. Solitude and activity are two such great things.

    Glad you are feeling better.

  8. I hope today is a good day for you, but if not remember that we are all here for you. I'll put in some miles for you tonight, it's going to be on pavement though, but I will pretend we are back at CCC under the moonlight, that was a good night!