Thursday, June 28, 2007

fine in the moment

In my running over the last few days I’ve been trying not to make any promises to myself. Usually, there’s a little voice in my head that makes demands on me like, “turn around at the bridge no matter what,” or “only run four days this week,” or “if you keep running now, you can’t bike later.” Kind of a bossy little coach in there. I know he has good intentions. He doesn’t want me to bonk miles from home or push my limits too far and suffer for the next week because of it. He’s generally a pretty good coach. But, he does get stuck in the past. He won’t let me forget my various bonks, heat strokes, and dehydration mistakes from years ago.

I appreciate his concerns and efforts. I’ve been listening to him this week, too. But, I haven’t been so compliant with his program. For instance, I was about three quarters of a mile into my run today when my right ankle started hurting. This was likely due to a slight overuse from the day before. Coach let me know that I should probably just take it easy today and jog it out for 3 miles - tops. Probably good advice. That’s what I would recommend to anyone else who asked my advice. But, I kept going…

The problem with that advice is that everyday there will be something (a sore ankle, upset stomach, not in the mood.) That’s just a part of normal life. Sometimes these things are more serious than others. Sometimes it is a good idea to turn around after one mile. This week, though, I’ve been trying to let these things ride and not plan anything out ahead of time – just putting one foot in front of the other and being there for what develops.

This reminds me of that joke: “How do you make God laugh? … … Make a plan.” That’s one of the only two jokes I can ever remember. I guess it’s not really a joke – it’s hardly funny. But, it does provide a good reminder to stay connected to the present moment because things change. Three minutes from now that ankle problem may be a thing of the past, and you may continue running all the way up to the end of the road even though Coach said “don’t run past the bridge because you didn’t eat any breakfast and it’s too hot out.” Yes, but look, Coach, it’s the end of June. It’s summer in Southern California. It’s hot out and it ain’t gettin none cooler for three months now – maybe four. And, besides, I’ve got a new team now – Spirit Hawk and Datura Soul. We’re not in training, we’re just celebrating on this earth, as best we can – and in the process, sometimes we bonk, and sometimes God laughs… and that’s fine, that’s just fine.


Geoff said...

sometimes there are definite reasons to stop and turn around and other times it's better to push on miles past what was "planned". either way there is always some instinct that seems to make the right decision. some days i know it's right to push through pain and other days i just know it's a bad idea... and in the end i always make the right decision, even if i'm not so sure at the time.

Jonah said...

Thanks Geoff,
You're right about instinct. It's important to know and trust that deeper part of our nature.