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

There is a reason Larry and I are together. There is a reason we've met, felt something, made an effort to not let it go away in a nowhere memory. I feel like I am stealing his post - but truly, as I was making it up in my head, I had no idea what he'd written earlier this morning. And I am not backing off my own thoughts:)

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...

22 comments:

Larry said...

I could hear the joy in your voice after your run this morning. I felt like I was at Forest Park with you in the way you described the run. Funny how our posts were similar, but different. Of course, there is that reoccurring mind reading connection we have even though we are 2,300 miles apart.

AnthonyP said...

Your post and Larry's post are freakishly similar. I'm so happy that you guys found each other and that you are happy. I hope you make your way out East sometime soon to visit.

robtherunner said...

Wonderful post, Olga! Sounds like a great time on the trails.

caroline said...

It was a magical morning out there. Every morning is magical out there! Today with the fog, moisture, light, leaves, and so many other grinning trail runners, it was wonderful. So great to share it with friends too. :-)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

amen sista!

JeffO said...

Glad to hear you got out on a run, Olga. Must be hard keeping yourself off the trails so much. Sounds like a beautiful time with great people.

Lisa B said...

Oh the JOY! Life is good, yep. We are blessed.

Danni said...

Trailrunning is the absolute best. Hands down. I'm so glad you're back girl!!! And you ARE trim and gorgeous and all that, regardless of whether you can bring yourself to torture yourself at the boring awful gym! :-)

Thomas said...

It's perfectly ok to ignore the doctor as long as you don't ignore the signals from your own body.

Sounds like you did the right thing, though.

Sarah Elaine said...

To do it because you love it is the best reason to do it.

You sound so happy!

Moogy said...

Just a big smile! 8)

Rick Gaston said...

So no pain while running right? You worry me sometimes. I know how stubborn you can be and you know how I worry about you...sometimes. Now I have to go read Larry's post.

I have no excuse why Stephen and little man dropped me on the run. You'd think that stroller would have given me an advantage. I think Stephen runs with little man all the time.

Anonymous said...

Olga chica good post mija.I am in the same boat just have to get out on the trails walking slow if I have too but still out there...Georgie

Anonymous said...

Molodez Olga!

Lisa B said...

When are you going to TX??

Laura H said...

Nice post Olga. I am there with you girl - coming back from a long lay off is tough - unless you learn to enjoy the moment of being out there and accepting where you and your body are at that moment. Nice!

meredith said...

So happy to read that you get to enjoy the trails again; what a blessing!! No matter the pace or distance...enjoy it :) mer

Pathfinder said...

I connected immediately with your description of your own feeling when on the trails.....speed is not a factor at that time....keep on trucking and the fitness will come to you.

Rooster said...

Your back in action already, way to go Olga. All seems to be good...bask in it and enjoy your time with friends.

Anonymous said...

You have the mind of a trail runner now get those legs back.

You are the SHIT and SHIT is you.

Bushwhacker

Tina Ure said...

Your joy in being back on the trail is EXACTLY what I felt today, when I finally was able to go out for more than just a walk. Sure, I'd been out on mtn bike, but not the same as moving your own two feet on the trail. I didn't have any company, just my dogs, but they were enough - and overjoyed as well! Nice to know someone else is going through the out-of-shape and slow phase; and that it IS just that - a phase. I will be fast again...someday. :) Tina

Anonymous said...

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