Lessons from 10K Training…by Steph
Some of you know I’m training for a 10K Run, “Turkey Trot” this coming Sunday. Training for this has been one of the hardest things I have EVER had to do. I am “not a runner” in the sense that it takes EVERYTHING I have to do it. Most of you might not know I pretty much grew up overweight, eating Twinkies and did not participate in sports of any kind. Gym class was torture, girl scout camp, even worse. It wasn’t until I arrived at college that I decided to join the rowing team.
There are 3 lessons I was grateful to be reminded of today during my 6 mile “journey”:
1. The Power of Mantra: Before I run, I remind myself of a quote, which is my mantra: “Inner peace comes from being able to hold the conflict that arises from the tension of opposites”. This helps me stay in the game during the first mile when my heart is pounding out of my chest and I want to quit, SO bad. With my heart racing I recall the day my dad died of a heart attack while driving his car, on his way home to pick up my mother for their Thursday night dinner date. The thought makes me dig deeper, knowing my heart will adjust. If I do have a heart attack, I rather it be doing something that challenges me. You see, I realize it takes courage to feel discomfort. I also know the discomfort will pass. I keep running because I remember this pain will soon turn to bliss. How interesting! Lucky for me it does, yet not without the help of:
2. The Strategic Music Play list: I must start my run with yoga music to help me center & connect to my breath & body. The first song, “Benediction” by Jami Sieber calms my brain as my feet try to catch up with my racing heart. At this point, my mind still wants to quit and thankfully the next song begins to play, “Hallelujah” by Matt Schuler (from The Voice). All of a sudden, I start to feel a slight opening for bliss. As I listen, the song takes me deeper into my body. I start to feel the cool wind on my face along with the warmth of the sun. I hear my heart race against the leaves crushing under my feet. Oh, the beauty of Fall! Suddenly, the opening gets bigger as I begin to rejoice in the beauty of nature all around me. My breath begins to steady. I start falling in love again with this running. The pain starts to balance with the bliss. And then the hill approaches. Once again my mind starts to distract me. Yet because I feel the bliss, I remember all I have to do is:
3. Surrender: As I climb the hill I work with it by adjusting my pace and easing up. I know the downhill is in the distance. As long as I can stay in the present and work with the challenging terrain I will be OK. Small adjustments, letting go, doing my best and trusting is how I will make it.
When I hit the 6 mile mark of my run today I stopped. I didn’t plan it this way but when I stopped I found myself in front of Lawrence Hospital. This was the hospital my father was taken to and where I said my good bye. I immediately burst into tears. Tears of loss and also tears of joy. Loss because I miss him so much and life is so different now. Joy because his leaving gave me the courage to show up for my own life in a way I might never have if things remained comfortable. Yes, courage & discomfort occupy the same space. When I forget this, I suffer. Peace returns when I remember. And I can keep placing one foot in front of the other. On a funnier note, below is the hat I will be wearing on Sunday. Totally lifts me up!