Personal Victory!

There’s so much to say, and lots of distractions to keep me from going as deeply as I could. I’ll try and keep it simple, do things one at a time.

This morning I went on a run which provided me with a series of revelations. A shift has occurred.

I’ve never done much running. I thought it was boring, tiring, painful. Why would I subject myself to that?

Then, two weekends ago, I saw my dear friend run her first marathon and I got so inspired by watching all those people challenging themselves. There were half-marathoners and 5k runners there, too, and they were all pushing their personal limits.

Since then, I’ve had this idea that I’d like to run around the lake that is near my house. Some days I thought I can do it, easy peasy. Other days I thought I’ll never be able to do it.

Today I decided I’d try. I knew it was unreasonable to expect to run the whole way around without stopping, so I just told myself I would go and walk whenever I really felt I needed to.

I ran a little over a mile before I took a break to take off my sweater. I’m still learning how to dress for this whole thing. As soon as I started running again, it felt so much easier. That fist mile was a warm up.

Then the thoughts started. I kept going between doubting my ability to continue and realizing that it was entirely my choice. I ended up with a mantra: “I CAN, but will I?”
It helped me accept that I was physically capable, and put my mental resolve into the forefront. I asked myself if I would keep running if it meant I could save someone at the end of the road and in the same breath told myself that I was running with no worries. I was running because I chose to run, because I wanted to, because I was FREE.

What a feeling.

I ran about another mile before I took a walking break along the edge of the lake where I captured the gorgeous morning face of nature. Then I ran. Then I walked a moment. Then I ran to the edge of the park and walked the rest of the way home, allowing all the thoughts and excitement to settle.

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Today I learned that running is a very good metaphor for many things in life. There are too many tiny lightbulb moments to that happened while I was moving my feet one after the other. The biggest take away is that the mind and body function best when they work as one, with one common goal, with equal faith in one another. What “going out for a run” means to me now is proving to my mind that my body can do it, and giving my body the support of my mind. I am training cooperation between the two, learning to balance their roles, and allowing my spirit to guide me wherever it cares to go.

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Yesterday I went pumpkin picking with my family. We had a nice, wholesome time. The weather was gorgeous, the pumpkins were lovely.

We stopped by a Polish restaurant  on our way home. The pickle soup was a winner. I have to make my own…as soon as I make some pickles. We got poppyseed cake at the deli and enjoyed it with some tea when we got home. My sister and I made plans to try our hand at making a whole bunch of traditional cakes together, while learning about the history of their origin and all that fun culinary stuff.

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As for Saturday, it was quite something.

I had dinner at “The View” restaurant which is on the 48th floor of the Marriot in Times Square. The whole floor spins 360 degrees in one hour. It’s quite stunning. I wasn’t expecting to be as enchanted as I was.

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Just after sunset

After that, it was time to see Cirque du Soleil’s Paramore, which ended up being another exciting experience I really wasn’t expecting to be so mesmerized by. The acrobats were amazing, the singers phenomenal. I got lost in time and space for two hours.

So I had fun on Saturday, courtesy of the generosity of a relative stranger. And as much fun as I had, it’s just not my scene. The city exhausts me. I’m grateful and lucky to have experienced what I did, but I woke up the next day feeling as though I had been beaten, and in a way I had been beaten…with excess and excitement. I do best with small doses of fancy things; I prefer my low-key life. I prefer spending a day in the mountains instead of day around 12 million people. At least I know for sure now that I’m not missing out on too much.

Anyway, now it’s time for another “work week.” I’ll try and make this grind-time as pleasant and positively productive as I can. I wish the same for you.

Godspeed.

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