Two weeks ago browsing in Barnes and Noble I happened upon a book by one of my favorite teachers Pema Chodron, COMFORTABLE WITH UNCERTAINTY. I didn’t realize at the time that it was prophetic!
I’m a very structured person. I like schedules, routine and “certainty”. However 2018 has been less certain than anytime I can remember. Whether it’s a universal shift, my getting older which means my family is getting older therefore more susceptible to illness or I’m just more aware…
A day doesn’t pass without me hearing of another friend, family member or some associate suffering from a loss, a diagnosis or some other issue or another. Which has made me keenly aware of how fragile it all is and how very little control we have in anything, except our reaction to what is happening.
These past months at my martial art studio has been a whirlwind of activities, which has kept me in high gear without a break – Until this week. You’d think a simple week off would be filled with R&R – No. Instead surprises daily, sick staff members, auto accidents, miscommunications. Then there is the scheduled car service that got messed up, closed restaurants, revamped lunch plans ect, etc, etc. The list is endless!
I react with a deep breath, be grateful for the moment and carry on… I run the streets of my neighborhood, the local bike path and today – finally Colt State Park. Where by putting one foot in front of the other moving forward realizing the only certainty is this step and this breath, that the only control I have is my reaction to the beauty surrounding me, knowing that life isn’t perfect, but there are moments always unplanned that you feel perfectly content being “as it is”.
I often place unneeded pressure on myself; For instance the essence of this blog is “thoughts from the run”, but what if I don’t want to share those thoughts? See what I mean? I’ve sort of promised more than I’m sometimes willing to keep… In my defense when I first started running seriously every run was filled with some sort of amazing revelation (at least to me). Whether it was about my journey, what I was experiencing or just how I was feeling. Now that I’ve been running (slogging) fairly seriously for a year, I’m finding my thoughts are more mine and for me only.Emotions or issues I’m dealing with and finding clarity from the run.
Turning 60 last year was amazing one of my best years ever, I was able to travel and experience new adventures, met new friends and reached new goals. I was running with rose colored glasses. That was until the end of last October when I found out a friend of mine was experiencing a serious health threat. That shook me hard! Many of my runs following that news consisted of Why, Why has this happened? Why this person? Why am I so lucky?
I thought about some of my Facebook posts and past blogs where I preached my training beliefs trying to inspire others but wondering if I was coming off as a bragger, or a know it all. Was I excited to share my new found passion for running or was I preaching?
These thoughts still occupy much of my runs, as do the worries about my parents aging, my neighbor’s health, my business’s future (my future ), but here is a thought that came to me today as I was running my neighbor hood route. The first mile is an incline and it can be a challenge somedays but then I turn a corner and the terrain levels out, another corner and it’s downhill all the way home…
I thought that profound (at least I think so) observation was worth sharing; There are always going to be hills to climb but if we continue to keep moving forward one step at a time there will be corners to turn and an easy run home…
Keep moving forward…
People often ask me how do I stay/get into the shape I’m in — But most of the time my gut tells me they’re really asking why? I say this because when I give a brief explanation of my workouts and diet their follow-up question is; “Isn’t that hard?” along with I could never do that!
The sad thing is most of these people are younger than I am and for the most part could very easily do what I do. They choose not too, because in their mind it’s hard to exercise, to not eat what they want when they want. They’ve settled for what they believe is their lot, destiny or genetics. Perhaps they’re waiting for a magic pill, app, exercise that will transform them into who they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago. This is why the diet and fitness industry rakes in billions every year from these individuals who want an easy way…
THERE IS NO EASY WAY! With that said here is the answer to why I do what I do; I was blessed with a healthy body, and a good mind. I’m a believer in caring for everything that is mine and keeping it as close to the original condition as possible. Whether it is a car, running shoes, books, my business or my cats. So why wouldn’t I do that with my body? Exercising, eating healthy, meditation, yoga, getting out in nature, avoiding the news, and having goals are a few of the ways I get and try to keep myself fit and healthy.
Believe me I wish I could eat everything I fancied and sleep late on Sundays instead of running 10 miles. I also fall off the rails and indulge now and again. Take yesterday for instance; I went out to lunch with my brother and sister-in-law for chowder and clam-cakes while I enjoyed eating those three clam-cakes the result was I felt stuporous and bloated and required a nap. This morning I was a pound heavier. That was motivation to get back to the gym and to my healthy diet today!
Here is my why question to those who think they couldn’t do what I do ( assuming they are healthy enough) “are you worth it”? I believe I am, I deserve to feel and look good to do what I enjoy free of knee and back pain caused by being over weight. I believe in preventing type two diabetes, high blood pressure, and the myriad of preventable disease conditions due to neglecting the care and maintenance of this 60 year old body. I believe in being in the best shape I can be if I should contract a disease I can’t prevent.
I’ll close with one more question, would you live in a toxic dump? Then why treat yourself like one?
Sorry to be so blunt but you sort of asked why?
We all hate being lied to — So why do we lie to ourselves?
My name is Ginnie and this is my latest confession; I lied to myself when I believed you got a puffy lower belly at a certain age. I deceived myself into thinking clothes sizes were running smaller. I told a whopper when I convinced my self walking on a treadmill and lifting twice a week was “working out”. I fooled myself into thinking just because I was in my normal weight range I was healthy… I LIED!
This realization happened yesterday when I ran to work from my mechanic’s, after dropping my car off — My employee said , “That was fast”. Then it hit me not only did I make this 2 mile – ish trek back in decent time It was fairly easy — Even with the large hills! Heck Sunday’s eight miles wasn’t nearly as bad as some 5k’s I ran last year. I’m fitting in my smallest sizes with ease. My body composition has changed and so has my mindset.
I can still push myself even at 60, slogging is far more productive for me than walking, watching what and when I eat matters! I’m getting into good shape at 60, with less hormones, less time and more responsibilities than I ever had before. Why I hear myself asking? Because on a whim in January I decided to do a half marathon in October. I set a goal and I’m following through with it I, may lie to myself but I don’t lie to others. I need to do what I said, slog the talk if you will.
I’m not writing this to boast, or to lecture, this is my journey, my discovery, my confession, but if the running shoe fits?
Remember when the odometer on a car just flipped instead of flash?
If you do then your life odometer is close to mine…
I remember my first car when I’d try to recall each major odometer milestone 1000 miles happened on President Avenue Fall River, and so on…
Now that my life’s odometer hit 60 years I’m suddenly more aware of personal milestones; where I’ve been, where I am and yes, where I’m going…
Life’s journey is not so much different than a road trip; the past is in the rearview, the present is behind the wheel, and the future is on the GPS…
I’m trying to be very aware of where I am and how I got here so I can plan my next turn. I’ve been inspired by my young students who’ve graduated to black belt. One of whom gave me a bracelet with “It’s not a sprint, It’s a marathon” on it. An awesome reminder that I’m in it for the long haul. I’ve also have been rejuvenated in my running through reading Runners World the amazing stories of runners in their 70’s running ultras and the many other runners who’ve over come challenges. This has motivated me to take on a half marathon. Which ironically will be right about when my odometer will hit 60.5…
Good to be back!