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Sunday, October 30, 2011

run on sentences....

The thing about running is there are so many many things... there is more than shoes and hope and faith and effort... there is an endless supply of run on sentences in your head on the trail...
There is a need that comes in the middle of the night before a race.  It takes you by surprise when you were quite comfortable in your thinking before slumber.  The you that went to bed was excited, nervous, anxious, ready... The you that wakes you up in the middle of a quiet blissful dream is more on edge, determined, focused, impatient and resolute. 

Your challenge in life becomes about bridging that gap between the you that was and the you that seems oh so present and about ready to birth itself in this new found reality you've created.

You realise, you ARE a runner, good, bad or slow, fast... doesn't matter... The you that lays in bed staring up at the ceiling so mesmerized by the cobwebs and your hopeful cleansing... that you is a runner.  Whether injured or trained, whether starting or finishing... a runner.

The most insane moment of my training, this crazy ass training that seemed so important at the time... was about ten seconds ago... when I discovered the part of my upcoming marathon I was looking forward to the most is the part where it all falls apart.  That moment when my feet give up and my heart has to take over... Or further, when my heart says screw you you babbling idiot... and my stubbornness gets to win the day... I cannot wait to meet my wall, greet my wall and embrace it, breathe it in... Swim in it  a while and feel its calm caress against my will power.  As if to say ... "are you sure?"

Just between you and me and all things in chaos... .... ....

I have never been so sure...

I am a runner... I was not born this way.  I was not made this way. 

I ran this way.

Day 304 of 365 days of running... current total 1625.24km

Full marathon seven days away :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In The Silence What Do You Hear?

So last night, day 293, I was lucky to participate in a poetry reading downtown Peterborough at The Spill. Thank you WORD UP for having me there and hearing my silly poem.

The following is the poem was what I shared. It needs some explanation however. A few days before the event my dear friend John posted on the groups Facebook page this question; In the silence what do you hear? It inspired me to write the following. When I read it last night I asked John to take part by reading the question at intervals during the poem.... thank you John for helping create this sharing :)

In the silence what do you hear?

What do I hear? I hear a chorus of mayhem, of chaos, of thoughts rebounding off the metaphorical walls someone else put up. I hear a musical being orchestrated off the cuff in your head without the fear of judgement or the need to appease. I hear the song you sang in the shower still ringing in your head... I hear my breathing. I hear my heartbeat. I hear my life living.

I hear your question again....

In the silence what do you hear?

What do I hear? I hear angels dancing on the wind. I hear the worms burrowing further underground. I hear the trees letting go of their leaf attachments, preparing for their empty nests. I hear the compost gathering warmth before the coming frost. I hear the moon claiming time and the sun relinquishing the same. I hear the stars aligning for all to share. I hear your wish unsaid in your soul, longing to felt.... I hear my breathing. I hear my heartbeat. I hear my life living.

I hear your question again, as if some part still unanswered....

In the silence what do you hear?

What do I hear? I hear the road calling my feet. I hear the trail tempting my presence. I hear the breeze wishing to move my hair. I hear the chamomile wanting a last embrace. I hear the mud turning as if to twist in my treads. I hear that bridge 13.33km away sending me the image I could see if I'd just run towards its hope. I hear faith pushing all my buttons, flirting with my stubbornness.... I hear my breathing. I hear my heartbeat. I hear my life living.

One last time I hear your question....

In the silence, what do you hear?

What do I hear? What do I hear? Perhaps the question should be; what do I allow myself to hear? But alas... What do I hear?

In a word? I hear my answer, resonating through the earth, off my soul, around your fear, across the galaxy and back... like a cosmic pinball game... I hear my answer... In the silence, what do I hear? In a word, what do I hear?


Friday, October 14, 2011

... as if I could

The day you learn to trust yourself is usually the day that fate or destiny or karma or God or 'insert descriptive here' decides to throw something new in your face that cannot be ignored.  This day when you wake up and have such a mental realization as to start your life anew in all things you were missing... this day is the day your adaptation to change just begins.  It's the day that pushes your every button, the moment when you genuinely believed for a few paralysing moments you had things figured out.  The coffee tastes too perfectly perked, the breeze blows just right across your face so as not to cause frizzy hair, the embrace you'd been longing for is suddenly offered, and all the heavens appear to inhale at once allowing for your heartbeat to fill the air in solitude. 

Then something changes... Or perhaps... you change.

The creamer for the coffee is sour, making you ponder whether or not you should cut back.  The child who was completely at peace in one moment is now dissolved in tears over a unsolvable issue ... like a broken graham cracker.  The hairspray bottle is empty and your goal of impressing someone today drifts into allowing them to see you all too clearly... when all you wished for was one moment of time when your best foot landed first.  That relative calls with strange altering news.  The babysitter cancels making your breath increase.  And all the heavens seem to laugh as if to watch your coping tactics in that moment when your heartbeat overfills your chest and life is, you realise, in flux again.

A run is like this.... especially if you are in the training for some big goal and everything is going well.  You start to trust yourself.  You start to let things be as they are.  You are so focused on focus you don't see the injury coming.  How did that happen?  How did that cosmic crash end up in your front yard like a pile of elephant dung you managed to not only tread in, but completely cover yourself in?

And how do you breathe in that moment when all your body is feeling disappointment and lack of hope?

Every day in those weeks between feeling great and wanting to conquer the world and the realization that things will have to change, that you are in fact not invincible... every day feels like forever.  Every day feels like a loss.  It sparks such mourning in my soul as to prompt a ritual ceremony from the dark ages.  Bring on the drums, lite the fire, send the smoke signals in the air, dance the mystical dance of healing and pray, chant, focus.  Let the doves fly free, let the horizon clear with the dawn fog, dissipating in the distance like a curtain lifting.  And all of life in balance. Please... heal.

Support comes in waves from friends, family and others.  All of which I am grateful for.  All of which I am thankful for.  In the palm of one hand are those that believe my goal for this year is manageable, is worth completion.  It is problematic to ask for help when you know 9 out of 10 people will tell you "this is your fault, stop running". 

Stop running? as if I could.  as if I had a choice.... there is so much of me scattered out among the fall leaves that I need to collect.... there is so much of me I am still piecing back together... there is so much of me needing this cleanse, this healing, this last 77 days, three races, four cakes and one soul changing journey. 

Stop running?  the mirror cracks so close to repair... the shoe laces far too close to untangled... the delicate frowns nearing undone... the strength I seek in myself so figuratively unearthed... Have you felt the ground underfoot ? It calls to me like a child in the night, like a soul mate in the quiet dream, like heaven in tall grass and bare feet.

Running... allows me to center, gives me focus, grants me peace... helps to ground me to this balance and patience I seem to search for, seem to yearn for. 

Such a long two weeks of recovery.  And still so much time ahead of slower pace, of listening to my capabilities every day, every minute, every step.  All you can do is..... Be here now. This my day 288 I ran, as I did yesterday, as - God willing- I will tomorrow.

Peace to you in running, May your every step bring a fresh ability to adapt to whatever change you are dealing with in life.

Day 288 current total of 365 days of running - 1549.98km