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
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Pure bliss of running
I went for a run this morning. This is my third official run since the doctor said I have a "problem", since he told me to not even think about it till second week of December. This morning it was clear why I don't listen to him - or to any doctors. We met with my trusted running partners - Mike and Gail, and it felt like the previous 4 years, nothing changed. We are together, we are on trails, what more can we wish for at this moment? Caroline joined us too. Obviously, after 3 months of lay-off, I am the most unfit of them, so I walk up the hill first, waiting for the gang to catch up with me. It is still dusk, but things can be seen clearly already. Everybody is coming up, and I let them go. I don't want to slow anybody down, I am ok with what is. They wait for me at the first intersection. Mike and Caroline go ahead - and Gail stays with me. I feel a bit uncomfortable making her go poking like a turtle - but she is a true friend...because she could care less of the pace, she wants to spend time with me and talk...and because she feels the same as I feel. We stop and look back - there is light picking through the woods. Not sun, just rays of light - it's misty, cloudy and foggy in Portland today. But it's so up-lifting to see it happen in front of your eyes nevertheless. I complain that I didn't take my camera. Gail says - you wouldn't be able to capture it. I know I would. It's my mood that can be captured, not the play of light and dark in the forest. I believe so. We go on.
I have to walk most of the hills. I get out of breath easily, and my legs are not strong enough. I don't mind - and neither does Gail. We chat. Funny how no matter what we discuss (as simple as what happened in the last 2 days) - we always end up in philosophical discussion...funny how I straggled with writing in my blog while on a forced break, and how ideas flooded me head as soon as I hit trails. We laugh. I am fat, out-of-shape, with my tummy hanging over the waistband of my pants, I am plodding 13 min/mile - and I am in pure bliss. No, the fact that I am out of shape is not due to stress fracture per se - you can keep fit and strong. It's because I was bored. I am a trail runner. I am a person - and I am a trail runner. It just the way it is. I don't like other things, and the point of "keeping it fit so I can come back faster" doesn't make me jump with joy and run to the gym cross-train. Yes, I did it. And when I got there - I actually worked out hard and was glad I made it. But I am not a gym rat. CrossFit is fine, biking is awesome, swimming is healthy, and all that - but it's simply not me. I am a trail runner. I do it because I love it.
What would I rather have? Be slim and trim and quick and looking gorgeous, but not be able to slog on the muddy trails and look around? Or the other way around? For me the choice is clear. It is especially clear after I had to go through a serious withdrawal. Can you have "it all"? Of course you can! But getting overwhelmed by other life's things, I have to make priorities. I don't care how fast and how far - as long as it's far enough to get endorphines kick in and fast enough to come home on time for other things. I am not saying it's the only right way. But it's the only right way for me.
Mike and Caroline are waiting us at 5M turn-around. I have time to go for more, but decide not to over-do it. Sometimes I am actually smart, even in a bliss. Gail and Mike go further, Caroline dashes back to the car at the speed of a meteor she saw driving to Autumn Leaves. I plod back. My pace comes to 11 min/mile, but it is just because there are more declines and downhills this way. I don't care. I actually run every step of the way - just as I did on my Thursday run. It is fun. People come every direction, and those going same way I am - all pass me. I smile. I really enjoy being out here!!! Slow, dirty, shoes covered in mud that I can't see the color, legs splashed in spots, hair all messy, music in my ears - this fun, and I am so happy to be back. I am in no rush. Who is to say what I have to run, and in what time, what place? I do it because I love it.
The rest - is so unimportant...