I have Fridays off now. I always thought I could manage a traditional full-time work schedule, but I am learning that I really can’t. What I really crave is flexibility with my time. I want to be able to make scones and tea on a Friday morning and watch the rain fall with my cat. I want to go to yoga or the gym in the middle of the day to boost my mood. And above all, I want human connection to be at the center of my work. I learned all this and more while running my half marathon on Saturday.
Last week, I ran 13.1 miles across the foothills of the Sisters mountain range in twenty-degree weather. I was undertrained and mentally underprepared. However, I gave myself permission to surprise myself. And I did. I set a new personal record, didn’t get injured, and did not run the whole race alone. In the last few miles, when the pain started to set in, I began throwing around mantras in my mind. I tried Robin Arzon’s classic: I am. Didn’t help. I tried adding something to it: I am strong, beautiful, here. Still no mental relief from my throbbing right calf. I rounded a boulder and it came to me: Moving is healing. I whispered it in rhythm with my stride for maybe a minute before my eyes started glazing over with tears. I realized then that I had been struggling to stay static and I had been impossibly hard on myself. But I wanted all along was movement, because that’s where I thrive. Moving is healing.
I have never been good at being an employee or student, although I enjoy working and studying. I haven’t stuck to training regime ever and I have only recently gotten more disciplined about finishing monthly challenges. My point is, I do best in transition. I have struggled with that part of me for most of my life. It feels good to finally celebrate the fact that I always have new things I’m into, I like being a beginner, I like learning new skills at different jobs, I like not having a plan, I like going new place, and I like moving my body in new ways.
I knew that running my race would be transformative in some way, but it truly left me vulnerable and raw. This whole week, I have felt some amazing things happening inside of me and I have a fresh outlook on my future. I have movement to thank for that and I am eternally grateful.
Thank you for participating in this journey. I started this blog to help document my training for a race that I ended up missing completely and share my search for a sense of faith that I continued to lose.