Hello, tired legs, come run with me…

I finally got out for a run last night and completed around 6 miles. It was not easy; combination of no exercise for a few consecutive days and a lot of residual congestion. All that aside, I’m glad I followed through and logged some miles.

When anything becomes difficult, the temptation is to fight off the difficulty; to live in a state of denial. In many instances, this is a perceived solution for the short term, but it leads to suffering in the long term. Our fears grow to define us. Like a tree cut off from light or water, we begin to shrivel and stoop.

Fear, frustration, discomfort, anxiety–these are as much a part of our existence as laughter and happiness. I believe (and try to follow through with) the teaching that we must be compassionate with our whole self as part of the journey toward compassion for everything else and a well-rounded state of mindfulness. Reading the Nonrunner’s Marathon Trainer last night, I was struck by a excerpt which described the way that the marathoners-in-training greeted their obstacles. I use the verb “greet” because they did not shun them or try to sweep them under the rug. They acknowledged them like old friends. “Hello hills, come run with me,” was a mantra one contributor used when encountering elevation on the run.

“Hello, tired legs, come run with me,” I told myself last night. And sure enough, despite the challenges, my legs agreed to work with the rest of my body to complete a night’s training.

I have another 9 mile run planned for Friday night, and though I hope it will flow more easily than last night’s, I feel confident that I can show tenderness to the challenges should they emerge.

Kale chips I made yesterday evening. A surprisingly tasty snack!

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