Meditation has become a part of my daily routine. While this word may freak some people out, to me, meditation is simply taking the time to focus on my breathing and find inner peace and calm. It allows me to create a space in which I’m able to be completely present, surrounded by gratitude, bliss and awareness.
I’ve deemed running as my “meditation in motion.” I’m able to get lost in my own running world as I become aware of the sights and sounds around me. It’s an absolutely beautiful experience. However, it’s beauty is only prevalent if I’m in the right place mentally.
Since announcing my audacious goal of 13.1×10, people have shown a huge amount of support. (Which I am entirely grateful for, and my heart is so full!) A major question I find myself being asked is “Which will you actually race.” And I respond honestly with, “I haven’t thought about it!” I began exploring this question deeper: which ones should I run at race pace? On yesterdays 13 mile run, I found my answer:
None of them.
As soon as I start to think about that phrase, “race pace,” I lose sight of the meditation and running just becomes a motion. Narratives get created in my mind and I find myself surrounded with self judgement and criticism. I recognized these thoughts surrounded me as I found myself looking down on my run yesterday. The pavement (and therefore the run) seemed never ending. Right away, I knew this is not how I want to feel on this run, or any other run whether it’s a mile long or 20 miles long. So, I took a deep breath in and looked up.
Now, rather than endless, my run seemed limitless.
So, I let go of all those thoughts consumed with self doubt and criticism. People say the only person you should be in competition with is yourself, but I respectfully disagree. I don’t want to compete with myself from the past, creating these beliefs of how I should and could be running. So, I stopped. No more reflecting on my run history from the past or creating narratives for the future. It’s time to focus on the now and realize how perfect and beautiful this run, and any run, truly is.
PRs will come without a doubt. Some races will be better than others. I’ll be forced to face the heat, the hills, some wind and rain, too. But, with my focus being meditation in motion, I’ll be able to love each and every moment, and the awareness it brings me.
I’ve found my soulmate pace: my pace in which I’m able to push myself but still have control and awareness of my breath and my surroundings. For me, keeping a solid 8 minute pace allows me to stay in a meditative state. There’s moments where I get lost in the run and naturally pick up the pace. But, for me and for this goal, it’s not about pushing the pace. It’s about staying in a place of gratitude, bliss and presence as my body carries me down a new path. It’s about finding balance and persevering mentally. It’s about showing my students that goal setting comes in different shapes and sizes, each ambition unique to the individual. It’s about keeping my runs limitless. It’s about meditation in motion.
Am I still nervous? Of course. Mindfulness is a practice. Each course will bring it’s own set of challenges, it’s own way of trying to take me from mindful to mindless. I’m confident, though, that with my purpose and students in my mind, I can and will persevere, enjoying
each most steps I take.
What does meditation in motion mean to you? How do you use motion to create a space of presence and bliss?