It’s funny. I didn’t think I had anything to blog about today. The lottery for the NYC marathon is today, but I won’t know until at least tomorrow if I got in through the lottery or not. (I’ll be running for TeamFox no matter what, but it would be cool to get in through the lottery.) So even though I scheduled to blog today I thought I’d have to wait until at least tomorrow.
Then I read the blog post of my online, running/blogging, mom friend, LuminosityMama, and the wheels started turning. In her blog post, she talked about taking a few minutes to purposefully calm down and listen to her body. To take some time to work to understand what she needed, not what the outside world made her think she needed.
I often think that everyone will think I’m crazy if I admit I try to do things like this or that I’m interested in meditation. I’m far from an expert by any means, but I do work to find at least 5 minutes twice a day to sit calmly, quietly and listen to my own inner voice. It doesn’t always work, but I do often manage to know what I need during those moments.
I also find that running helps me quiet my mind, sometimes during the run and sometimes after. If something has been bothering me I often use the run to kind of pound it out and find that my mind is quieter by the end. By pushing it a bit harder my mind is forced to focus on what I’m doing so it can’t wander off into negative chaos. It has to stay positive if I want to finish strong.
I also use my runs as a time of peace and quiet, especially in the pre-dawn, just barely there light. My runs often help me work out questions I’ve been pondering or help me see what I need to do next in my life. They help me feel a sense of balance and often make me feel more courageous.
Sometimes during the runs I feel downright terrible. I don’t want to be there and the negative chatter is almost overwhelming. Then I rely on mantras, or sing to myself or even talk to people (not out loud, well, at least not most of the time).
The person I talk to the most during my bad runs is my mother-in-law. That probably seems crazy to start, but it gets even crazier because, you see, she died about 2 ½ years ago now. I find that my best “bad” runs are the ones where she sends me strength somehow. Somehow I feel connected to her and I know she’s there routing me on.
I use my running time as me time and to work myself physically, mentally and emotionally. I find running has now become one of the best ways for me to connect with that inner voice. Sometimes the inner voice is negative, but it rarely stays that way once I’ve finished. Just finishing a tough run lets me know that I’m stronger than I think I am and more courageous than I feel at times. Running reminds me that I’m capable of way more than I ever thought possible and that just because I’m starting a new venture by “running 2 blocks” does not mean that I cannot run and finish a marathon.