Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wanderings

Today I felt like I needed some exercise but I didn't feel like changing into work out clothes, hopping on a treadmil, and getting sweaty. Instead, I opted for a nice long walk. When I babysat in the area I used to walk all over the place, strolling a screaming, kicking devil's spawn in the rain at the request of her devil mom.

Capitol Hill in Seattle is such an awesome place to walk if you know where all the parks are, oh and the streets lined with 100 year old mansions. The houses in the area are simply incredible. Even the small humble ones have amazing architecture and design to them. Victorian, Colonial, Tudor, Castle-eque and even Haunted. Most of the houses could use a good remodel, or at least a new paint job, but you just look at them and know they have stories to tell. I like to let my mind wander and imagine all the things those houses might have seen.

I walked a total of five miles today starting and ending on my campus. I passed moms and nannies strolling babies, I passed men walking their kids dogs, I passed school children playing on their playgrounds. I walked by Holy Names High School just in time to watch their cross country/track team whizz by. Watching them reminded me how much I missed it all.

Of course I can and do run now, but not the way I could before I got pregnant and definately not the way I did in college. I miss lacing up my running shoes, tossing my fears, worries, to do lists to the side along with a dozen or so other girls and just...running. When you run on a team you don't run for a destination, you run purely for the sake of running. As long as you run the required speed and required distance, you are free to roam anywhere. As your body meanders across pavement, grass, gravel and dirt carryig out the motions without any other purpose or design, your mind roams just as freely. As unstructured and free as running in, when you run in a pack, you always know your place. Everyone has a "place." You may be the caboose, the front runner or somewhere in between but you always know where you fit in. This is so comforting, to have one activity in life where you know just where you belong in relation to the world.

Even when you run in a tightly knit team, it is still just your mind and your body, battling it out across the distance. Nothing else matters. I like to think of running as a conversation between the mind and the body. The body constantly pushes the limits of the mind and the mind pushes the confort of the body. It's amazingly therapeutic. The rest of the world just falls away, leaving you to perform in a peaceful existence. Even in the midst of traffic, noise, obstacles and weather. Running is a meditation you can do in any environment with the proper practice and training.

Upon return, your body and your mind are exhausted...in a peaceful way. You have traveled to the edge of your capability, pushing your physical and mental limit the entire time and you have returned, survived. You can revel in the accomplishment that it will all be a little easier next time. Nothing in the world feels better. Except perhaps the necessarily enourmous meal that follows.

3 comments:

LL said...

What a lovely post - I feel the same way about swimming.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

I used to love running . . . I hope I can get back into it once I stop nursing. My boobs just hurt way too much when I run. Why don't they make running bras with underwire?

the dragonfly said...

Oh my.....even early in my pregnancy I couldn't have walked five miles!! Good for you! :)