Friday, February 27, 2009

Sweating My Prayers

The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.
-Robert Frost

Finally I returned to the Dipsea Trail today after a two week respite. I did not stop training, but did miss the stairs that still have me up at night wondering why I am committing to this self torture. Today I was again reminded of the euphoric feelings associated with pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible and surviving to bask in the glow.

It was good for me to get out. It has been raining for most of the week and, while I have been busy and social, I have not actually gotten out of the house much. I have been overly introspective and have been drowning in the intensity of my own thoughts.

As I started out this morning, the rain catching droplets in my hair, I felt freer that I had in days. Running gets me out of my head; I run till I can't think anymore. Being physical balances me as nothing else can. At no other time is my mind as clear as it is after being wiped clean by the sheer force of my exhalations echoing my inhalations. Sometimes I actually feel I am running from my thoughts, running as fast as I can, knowing the strength of my legs can outlast my moods and my mind delivering me from their mire.

Today I got a babysitter, headed for the hills, and ran like hell. My thoughts caught back up with me, but they are softer now, and feel much freer. Running to your very end is the perfect antidote to overthinking.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh I hope I learn to love running like you do!

ms. changes pants while driving said...

beautiful. my sister says she runs to get "in the zone" and runs for the runner's high.

my little stoner runners.

it's hard to get started, but once you get a little momentum, it keeps building. you should email my sister.

Katrina Hazel, Recruitment Hero said...

I can't appreciate the running part that much.. wish I could.. but I wholeheartedly agree with the babysitter part. So nice for you to have a moment to THINK.. even if you have to torture yourself while doing it :-)

ophelia rising said...

Jo, your writing is so inspirational. I SO want to run, and yet I hesitate, because of ankle and knee problems I had years ago when I used to run. Still, I remember what it is you speak of, and hold fast to that feeling. It seems I need to feel it again...I'm inspired to run again!

And, I love those words by Robert Frost. I actually made up a little song, using these very words, years ago when I used to take walks during my lunch hour at work. I sing them now and again, when I need a sort of meditative moment. I know that sounds silly, but when I read them here, I felt a sort of relief, as if I've come home again. :)