Just a thought or two… JAK
On every run I take three things with me: my body, my ego, and my awareness.
- My body serves as a vessel, it takes me where I want to go, it has its own mechanics; it is a carry-all for the constitution of my being.
- My ego is the unconscious sum of my thoughts of self; my preconceived notions, what I have been taught, what I have come to believe in my interactions with people and things. And my fear.
- My awareness, my presence, is the conscious mind containing the truth of what is, in any given moment, and is a quiet and calm place.
On my run tonight, I began by focusing on controlling my breathing, and noticing the constant fear I have when I even begin to think of physical activity: Will I get out of the door? Will I finish? Will I run as fast as I am able? Will I ever be the kind of person deserving of joy? Will I collapse and die, humiliated, all of my thoughts and fears and inadequacies confirmed in my abject failure?
As I breathe through my nose, in and out, controlling the flow as best I can, I become “aware” of myself inside the vessel; that I am calm and quiet inside this mechanism that is bearing me forth. While the body, the vessel, has its own experiences of pain and effort, and while the ego seeks to pull the body into a vortex of negative thinking and fear, the awareness can float, freely, and observe, unattached to anything, feeling, for lack of a better term, only a calm peacefulness, manifest in pure energy.
My life has been buried in ego, and is therefore tumultuous, noisy, and unfulfilled. Too often I have come close to something of value, only to see it fall short due to the preconceived notions I carry with me as baggage, that I have always thought made up the real me. Now, as I experience the same sense of stress and short-fall in an activity that less than a year ago had seemed so easy and fluid, I have been forced inward, to look at the baggage, and perhaps begin to shed its weight, or at least observe it, and give it space away from what is present and real.
I believe true runners understand this, and to a greater extent, live it. They are unencumbered by times, AG scores, competition, and the desire to conquer. Granted, few, if any of us are capable of living in this space 24/7; as the journey is important, so is it important that we strive to stay conscious and aware, and look upon our failures as building blocks toward an eventual place of joy. This journey extends into all facets of our lives, and if we are mindful, can bring us all the victory we seek…
Photo: Atsede Aemro-Selassie
This post is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Dashing Whippets Running Team, its board, or its captains.