"It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up."
~ Eckhart Tolle ~
"The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness."
~ Abraham Maslow ~
Running Free and in the Moment
It has been a little while since my last blog post. I have made a couple of decisions and with the New Year started and I am ready to share some of them. First and foremost, I plan to write more and focus on the present moment. I only need to take care of one moment at a time, because that is the only moment that is guaranteed. If we always take care on the present moment the future is nothing other than a moment to be focused on when it arrives. Therefore the past is a moment that is bygone and we can do nothing except learn from it.
Like most people I have buried myself with expectations and feeling that I need to prove myself. Ignoring the realization that each time I am setting myself up for stress and frustration. Not so much because I cannot accomplish whatever goal I set but because most where not my goals in the first place and my heart was not in it. Goals are great and like most things have their place in the big picture. Which brings me back around to the beginning again. I like to run to relieve stress, so, what sense does it make to make running stressful? Running and exercise are an instrumental tool for me when dealing with anxiety and depression. So again, why would I continue to make the activity anything less than enjoyable?
I kept a running journal of every mile I have run since Sept 2011 without fail. Plotted every route and how far I needed or should go, always expecting more. It was a tremendous tool while I learned how to become a runner and find out what worked and what did not. Seeing the miles build up to my first half marathon which I unequivocally stated at the finish line “I will never do this again!” Okay, so I did three more after that. I spent a year from July 2012 to June 2013 running 1000 miles for the Wounded Warrior Project. I liked that better than training for a race because I simply had to average twenty miles a week for a year. My last race was a 25K which I finished dead last, and mentally I feel better about it that most of the other races. I did not care as long as I finished and had a good attitude.
I missed valuable messages from myself that began two years ago in notes that said “after this race I run because I want to, not because I have to”. Pretty tough code to crack, huh? I guess I saw some of these notes as weak moments and ignored them. After all, our society teaches us to always strive for more and the second we cross the finish line to ask “What’s Next?” If it is truly your goal I say, go for it! If not then leave it alone. Since making this decision I have passed my Garmin off to my wife, closed my journal and I have started 2015 be Running Free! Running because I enjoy it and it helps to keep me centered and in the moment. No races, no training schedules or stressful reasons to “have to” run. I have proven to myself that I do not need a training schedule to get out and do it, as a matter of fact it is actually a deterrent for me. I will still meet friends for runs and help them train or by crewing or pacing them in their races and volunteer at races.
Lastly, I enjoy serving others and plan to start volunteering at KC Pet Project but at the same time I need to focus on me a little more. That does not come easy or naturally for me and it will not be something that I will always feel good about, but it is important.
Until next time, remember that we are all part of this universe and we more alike than different.