“Running! If there's any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can't think of what it might be. In running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates
My inner spirit told me to run and so I did. It's been a long time since I have run - months actually. The hip issue that I have had for the past sixteen years, the one that comes and goes like an unruly sinusoidal wave had taken over my body, mind and spirit the past while. At first when it strikes again I go into denial. Then I get angry that my body is failing me. Then I practice acceptance. I say practice because I never seem to fully accept it when it happens.
This time I tried all those routes, but it kept getting worse. Go figure, the moment I told myself that I needed to accept it for what it is and stop dwelling on it then it started to calm down. I am a firm believer that if you are sending negative energy to a body part it will hurt even more - take it away and things get better. And then there was going to acupuncture twice a week for the past couple of weeks! Oh the stories I have from that...but that's for another day.
At first I didn't miss not running. I did other things. I knit, I walked, I volunteered, I worked and focussed on all the other stuff that can fill up our lives. Then on Saturday I happened to see a photograph on my friend Mo's Facebook page. It was some of her running buddies, "the Mochas" sitting in front of a cozy fireplace at a coffee shop post-run". My heart twitched.
All day I thought about that photo. I thought about how much I missed having a gang to run with on Saturday mornings. I thought about how much I missed running. Then I started to think about where I wanted to run...
The next morning I got on my gear and headed out. It had been decided. I would run. I had first thought about hitting my beloved Rainforest trails, but for a first run I thought that might be a bit much. There is no flat in these here parts. No, I would have to drive to get to flat. And so I did.
I headed for the waterfront. My second favourite place. Actually, that's not true. It's a tie. I love the ocean as much as I love my evergreen treed mountains.
I had a plan. I would walk a bit, then do some warmup moves, then start slowly and see how things felt.
I got a few hundred meters when I felt a niggly. Rather than pushing it as I normally would, I stopped and stretched. I did a forward fold and looked down past my feet. As I did I noticed the bright green moss growing on the side of curb that defines the beach from the sidewalk. How fantastically green it was compared to the grey of the sky, the sidewalk, the water! I just hung there for a while admiring it's beauty. Then I tried running again. The niggly seemed to have passed.
As I sidestepped some deep puddles I looked out at the waterfront. There were bright skies over Vancouver Island, or so it seemed. Lots of sailboats were out as well - I gave them all imaginary high fives for being out there! It was a cold rainy day.
I noticed that there are more artists centres going in along the beachfront. I even stopped to look at what gallery opening was coming up. I love that there is still funding for the arts - it's so important.
Then I got to the park where I hang out with my friends wee daughter while they have a little Mommy Daddy time sipping coffee's and snacking on treats. This is where I taught her to climb the cargo net rope - the trick she apparently took with her to daycare the following week. Oops.
I looked ahead to my target, the Dunderave pier. It looked a bit far. I felt good though so kept going. Once at my target I stopped and admired the view. Beachfront, logs for people to lean on, sailboats, and people fishing off the pier.
I forgot that if it was good this way it was likely I would have a headwind happening on the way back and sure enough I did! At this point I decided a toque might not have been a bad idea. Then I thought of my friends who were racing in Ironman. At that point they would have been on the bikes and I hoped they were having good day. I thought about how long ago it was that I used to participate in Ironman and how different my life is today. I did a check on whether or not I missed that life - I don't.
When I first started to run I did it because I wanted to try something new. Then I ran because it was my saviour during a time in my life when things went all pear shaped. Then I did it because I had to as part of my training. Somewhere along the way I forgot the joy of running I had when I first started. I have been running since then and liked it, but I was always comparing myself to what I used to be able to do. That took some of the joy away. On this day though, I got that joy back. Pure joy. I was running with no goal other than to see what happens. I wasn't comparing to what I used to be able to do. I was okay with stopping and taking my time. I was savouring the sights and sounds. Despite the rain, the wind, the cold and I was in a happy place.
I'm not sure when I will run again. Perhaps I will try it again next weekend. Perhaps the weekend after. Who knows. In hindsight the hour that I was out was perhaps a bit long after the time off and the hip issues. I will confess my running 'sins' to my acupuncturist when I see him tomorrow night. I have a feeling I am going to look like a voodoo doll and there is the possibility I may levitate off the table when he sticks me in a few spots. It was so worth it though...
Peace out my lovely friends!