Archives for posts with tag: inspiration

I’ve been on this earth for a while now. But I think I am finally starting to understand the powerful difference between setting a goal, and the will to achieve it. We can set intentions all day long, but if they don’t hit us on a heart level… on a soul level, we might as well throw in the towel.

After I had my baby it was really important to me to get back to my health. Going through pregnancy and labor is a perfectly healthy thing to do, but there is a lot of strength and endurance that’s lost. Not to mention the complete 180 that your lifestyle has the opportunity to take once the baby has arrived.

The summer that I found out I was pregnant I ran my first half marathon. I actually WAS pregnant when I ran it. I remember the preparation and the running of that race were such milestones in my love-hate relationship with running (read previous blog post here).

In an effort to ‘get my body back’ I set a tentative goal to run my second half marathon this summer- two years post baby. I say tentative because its become so much more important to me to be doing things smart rather than hard. I have a back injury and I just didn’t know how my body would feel pushing those long running distances.  As the deadline of this half marathon got closer and I danced with the reality of actually having to run it I intensified my training. I knew I would have to run at least 10 miles before I would be comfortable considering 13.1.

Well, I had my longest training run this week- 8 miles. As you can imagine, there is a lot you can think about with an hour plus of handsfree time and no where else to go.  While the corner of mind my is chanting ‘light on your feet, lift up from your core, this feels easy- keep it easy’ the rest of my mind is pondering a full spectrum of things from the problems of the world to why the Panera I just ran past doesn’t have a drive-thru.

Previously I had run 6 miles, which is a personal obstacle. My struggle through that first 6-mile run is completely mental. I fight myself the whole time. But once I’m past it my whole mindset changes from doubt to assurance.

So for 8 miles I chose a familiar path, one with plenty of shade, not too many hills, good scenery and I set off. I usually find my stride about 2.5 miles in (lift up through your core, use your muscles, this is easy).

Around mile 3 I really started to believe that this WAS easy. My cross training at Red Rocks and running trails HAD made me stronger (shoulders back, land light, this feels easy).

End of mile 4 was exuberant- just turn around and trace your steps (you’ve already run this, now you’re just running home).

At mile 6 I was high as a kite. I’d come to the realization that I AM as strong as I was before the baby- if not STRONGER. The ease that I was running with was unbeliveable, mostly because I WANTED to be there. I WANTED to be a strong-by-my-standards runner. I wanted to be able to run 13.1 miles if that was what I chose for myself. I WANTED it.

Now that I’m on the other side of that 8 mile run, the half marathon itself is less of a prize. Mostly because I KNOW I can do it. The goal- which was the race- has shrunken in measure compared to the confidence and pride I have gained as a result of my training.  I wanted to be prepared and focused. And now I am. I wanted to be strong. And now I am. I wanted to run as far as my heart could take me. And now I will.

 

 

Advertisements

When I was in high school I played volley ball. We had to run ‘the mile’ every week for conditioning, and I HATED it.

When I went away to college I crafted a passion for trail running out of the sheer necessity of needing something to do as a freshman… without a car… at a campus on top of a mountain.

Its been an off-and-on relationship dependent upon many different variables in my life. But recently I’ve been using my trail runs as a tool for my half marathon training.

On my run this AM these thoughts came to me…

1. Sometimes the best path is unstable. When there is a split in the trail, one side gravel, the other slick rock, there really is no stable choice. No matter which side you choose there IS instability. The real choice your making is how will this next step get me to where I want to go NOW. Its instinctual. You want to keep going, so in the moment, you don’t think, you GO. There’s no way around it. In fact, the instability of either choice will teach you a different lesson: how to grip the gravel and be light on your feet OR how to push off and catapult without slipping. Which brings me to my next thought…

2. Its slow getting to the push-off point, but the momentum is all worth it. Each extra bit of UMPH I can give myself, exertion, heavy breathing, bouncing off my feet, helps propel me to the next push-off point. The next push-off point is another obstacle. Its the space in between that we get to experience that momentum. Its the stillness of time before my foot lands on another rock, that’s what its all for.

3. Where the ‘rubber meets the road’ must be diligent… or you land on your face! Now let me be real… I’ve landed on my face. And its embarassing, but it sure checks me. Many times I’ve made mistakes, fought for approval, shape-shifted to be what someone else wanted. But after the splatter, if I really sit with ‘what just happened’? Its that I wasn’t paying attention to ME. My ego is what tripped my up. Ego is like that huge rock jutting out of the trail that you don’t see because your daydreaming, or caught in the glare of the sun. That rock isn’t going to go away. So just Be careful! You can push-off of it, or you can run over it. Be diligent.

4.You can’t only, ever run uphill. As much as I love a good uphill challenge, I’m almost convinced that the satisfaction of finding a downhill is what its all about. Downhill gives the chance to go with the flow and catch our breath. Some of life is meant to be enjoyed. Plain and simple. My very wise Granddad taught me that moderation is the key. If we are only, ever running UP hill we miss the flowers and the butterflies riding the trail with us. If we are only, ever intense and focused we miss the joy of sunshine on our skin, dust in our shoes and why we ever started running in the first place.

 

 

When I was in high school I HATED running. Every week in volley ball practice we had to run the mile and I vividly remember how torturous it seemed to me.

In college, I took up running as a way to feel healthy, but also (without even realizing it) I think I started running because it was something that made me feel safe and strong, independent even, and empowered. I had moved away from all of the comforts of home: family, boyfriend, hometown. I was all on my own. Running gave me a sense of control of my situation. I fell in love with it.

Overtime my connection to running evolved. Instead of running to feel control, I ran to feel freedom. I ran to feel centered, and to find peace of mind.

I continued to run throughout my young adult life, and even ran my first half marathon in 2011.

Then, I had a baby.

Needless to say my life changed. More significantly to my running habit, my pelvis changed.  For the last 2 years I have been patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) waiting for the pains of childbirth to leave me alone so I could get back to running.

Now let me say this- there are lot of things that a woman goes through when she has a child. Namely, a complete revamp and redefinition of who she is and what she contributes to the world. If she’s lucky, she will have taken on this task willingly and without any remorse. Some, not so lucky. Me, I chose to become a mother and since have been willing to redefine myself every moment for the sake of my kiddo.

The point: I ran the farthest I have run in 3 years today and am SO excited to not have any lower back pain!!!

More importantly, my run today felt like getting a piece of my self back.

Its not always easy to let go of an older version of yourself- even when you are willing. I’m proud of myself for being brave enough to let go of who I was, the me that runs. And I’m proud of myself for being patient enough to be able to say I’m a runner AND a Mama.

The best things in life are worth waiting for.

In 2014 I’m looking forward to exploring more of The Middle Way.

After several shifts and awakenings this year, I can honestly say that I think my soul is starting to rub her eyes, inspirate and move. Its a looong, slooow process. Like when my little guy rises with the sun, he jabbers at the dark for a few minutes, then I go in and say ‘good morning’. He then likes to tell me about how he slept and what first came to mind when he woke up, like ‘reach the lights’ (meaning that he can now reach the light switch and turn his bedroom light on… and off… and on and off again… at 5:30.

At times I’ve been reluctant to my own arousal. Maybe even tried to slip back underneath the veil of my ego and chase the things I’m used to chasing. I’ve tried for money, fame, status. All of which have led me back to the same realization. The Middle Way.

lotus-flower.jpg

Its certainly tempting to want to push my career to a place where everybody knows my name. And its just as easy to follow the same trance that so many other people seem to be in: that you should work your life a way, make a bunch more money than you need and attain the stuff that makes you who you are. But again, when I find myself on the ledge that plummets to that same spot, something in my gut always guides me to stillness. And in that stillness I recall contentment and the truth of what MY happiness.

And now, I know, you are just waiting for me to tell you what that is. Like if one more person were to tell you what their happiness came from you could go after it and you would find happiness too… but would you?  So today I refrain from sharing my happiness. With the intention that 2014 be THE year that you find your own sense of truth. That you and everyone around you be guided by that inner voice that guides us all home.

May we all find happiness, and the root of happiness.

namaste.

It seemed to me that September was a month full of enthusiasm, inspiration and creativity. I was thriving! My classes were coming easily, my playlists were fun and impactful, even my own workouts seemed to build me up. I had direction and motivation and felt I had pushed through at least a handful of some of the barriers that I have put in my own way.

Then came October…  SCREEEEEEECH (sound of car coming to a tragically abrupt stop!)

I had been struggling with ev-ry-thing!

I was at a total lack of motivation, I couldn’t seem to keep any kind of pace to keep up with my grueling teaching schedule and at home I was at a total loss for ideas of what to eat for dinner for crying out loud!

I was having a hard time even getting myself to do the things that I would have done in the past in similar type of crisis…. I couldn’t…

What happened??? I felt truly stuck. It was like writers block, but for my whole life.  LIFE block. UGH!

Then, last week I was teaching a class and one of my favorite songs came on and I was reminded of how much I love my life, I love what I do, I love my family, my students, my body, my house, my dog… you get the idea. Something just clicked. It was like a spark of gratitude that reminded me that our reality is built on push and shove.

If we were high on life 24/7 then even that would get old. The buddhists say ‘lean into it.’ Well now that I am working my way out of the dulldrum vortex I get it even more.

I’m taking detailed inventory of the things that provoke me and what might distract me from being my inner light. I’ve noticed for myself that when I don’t get my ME time, thats when the threads begins to unravel. I would even go so far as to say that most instructors are givers in nature. I myself am completely willing to give everything to my students. Then I come home and give everything to my family. I have another cup of coffee and I can then give everything to my house, my emails, my laundry etc. But those things don’t contribute to the spiritual connection with myself that truly fills my cup. What fills your cup? And why aren’t you doing it everyday?!

I think maybe I was gifted with that spark of gratitude last week because I needed to be reminded what it was like to have that passion and clarity and joy in my life. We can do our damndest to create and maintain balance, but the inevitable WILL happen and we WILL be off balance again for one reason or another. If we ‘lean into’ our personal challenges and things that cause disruption from the balance we may perhaps get a clearer view of how to stay balanced for longer. Or better yet, how to lose balance, but not fall completely off the rails.

Besides, no one who goes to yoga wants to have an unhappy, less than glossy yoga teacher. WE are supposed to radiate Bliss… ok, thats another topic all together.