Sunday, July 17, 2016

For God's sake- it's just running!

"The root of all suffering is attachment"

"I'd die if I couldn't run."
"I only finished 87 miles of my 100 mile race."
"I didn't PR"
"I only ran the half"
"My arm was falling off, but I should have kept going anyway....."

It's Sunday evening, and I'm saddened to see my Facebook page flooded with statuses like the quotes above.  So many people suffering via their attachment to running.

I've been there myself, beating myself up for not hitting my goal even though I had a fever of 101.  Being disappointed in not finishing a race, yet ending up with several stitches in my knee.   Pissed off because I came in 4th  place in my age group instead of third
Leaving a race feeling down instead of grateful.......

It's time to stop the madness. 
Being able to move our bodies through time and space in a mindful way is the gift of being human. 
Power, skill, fortitude....we make cool shit happen every day. 
Some people are exquisite artists.
Some people are  able to find "X" in the equation
Some people can cook a mean rib eye
and some people (the cool ones)  run. 
But we are also mothers and fathers, and lovers, and seekers, and gypsies. 
We gather, we feast, we pray and we protest. 
We help, and care, and give and listen. 

Running is such a small part of who we are. 
A very wise coach and friend once told me, "You are not defined by who you are as a runner.  You are defined by who you are as a person." 
Running, living, being....its a gift. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Try the meditation. It's delicious.

"The thing about meditation is:
you become more and more you."
David Lynch

When you're floundering in the sea of anxiety you have two choices:
 sink or swim. 
It became clear that I was sinking when I felt work suffocating me, panic strangled  my relationships, and I choked on basic decision making.  I knew I better roll over and start doing the backstroke, or I would surely drown
I had an initial appointment with a therapist which went ok, but I kept hearing and reading about a technique called transcendental mediation- and I am a true believer that if you keep hearing or reading about something- you really should listen and check it out.  After going to the initial introductory class I knew this was something I wanted to explore, but I'm not going to lie, it was a bit much for my budget.  I had a choice.....2 months of therapy once a week, or 4 days of TM class. 
I chose meditation, and after only one week of 20 minutes twice a day, I am a believer. 

The TM technique is super easy.  The Mayo Clinic describes TM as " a simple, natural technique... This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.
Thoughts come and go, and that's ok.  You're allowed to look at the clock every once in a while to see how you are doing on time.  You don't have to sit in a fancy pretzel position, and you are allowed to scratch your itch. 
I'm the girl who can't sit still- and I am starting to look forward to those restful moments every day. 

Every time you mediate, a layer of stress dissipates. 
I feel lighter and less reactive.   I have witnessed full potential and unlimited energy.  I am running better, sleeping through the night and am genuinely happy.  I know that everything will be ok.  Period. 

David Lynch compares TM to the sweetness of a donut:
"This is a donut.  It is very sweet and good, but if you've never really tasted a donut, you don't know how sweet it is.  Meditation is like that.  Transcendental meditation gives an experience much sweeter than the sweetness of a donut." 

I must admit friends- it's pretty damn tasty.  If  you want a bite, check out this website:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Zen and the art of day to day life

"The practice of Zen (as opposed to the study of Zen) is something  all together different:
to give yourself completely to each moment as it is......and trusting that there is something much deeper than reason and logic, and that if you follow it, you might just end up where you belong."
Jane Dobisz- One Hundred Days of Solitude

Something much deeper than logic: 
When you wipe the sleep off of your eyes, and  make your little peanut butter toast with no crust and coffee with real cream. 
When your child stumbles into the kitchen, calls you "mama" and gives you a hug.
A goodbye kiss from your love and a "Have a great day."
A greeting from a co-worker, a "thank you" and a "good job". 
The meeting with your client- a gift for hard work and dedication. 
To play in cool water, to run in dreadful heat.
The call - just to check in.
The moment your head hits the pillow
Your heart, with you- always beating.  Your breath, with you- consistent and smooth. 
Give yourself to each moment as it is, and you might just end up where you belong. 



Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Fly on my Shoulder

"When I stop struggling, I float.
It's the law."

Several hours early on the way to the airport in Albuquerque, I saw a sign for the Cochiti Lake Recreation Area.  Feeling curious, my car seemed to head there with little thought or redirection from my brain. 

Not really knowing how far from the highway I was headed, I followed a bumpy road at 35 miles an hour to the overlook, where a breathtaking view of red rock mountains on one side, dusty plains on the other and a placid lake below was waiting. 

I pulled on my jacket to protect me from the biting wind, and found a flat rock surrounded by cacti.  Sitting with the sun on face, I soaked in the space, and then closed my eyes to meditate- only to be interrupted by a vexatious buzz in my ears.
Crazily, I swatted the fly away, only for him to return, circling my face incessantly.  The whir of his irksome voice mocked me as I waved my hands like a mad woman, but he was persistent and returned again and again.

So, I decided to get very still.
And the fly sat on my shoulder
and we watched  a hiding vulture fly away,
and rooted for the hopeful fisherman in the lake below
And dreamed of climbing the statuesque mountains in the horizon.
And we breathed together

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Enough is enough

"Whatever makes you happy
 Whatever you want.
 I wish I was special.
 You're so fucking special.
 But I'm a creep."

If I worked out every day, fixed my boobs and wore 6 inch stilettos-
would you think I was pretty?

What if I made a million dollars, traveled the world debt free and never had to work again?
Would you be happy? 

I could climb the highest mountain, run the farthest and fastest, and do 100 pushups on one leg with one arm while chewing gum and singing Broadway tunes.
Would you awe at my strength and capability? 

If I strove to be the friendliest, brightest, most talented, kindest, the most encouraging, the star of the show. 
Would you say you want to be me? 

What will it take Jennifer- for you to be content? 
When will you ever be enough?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Keep searching

"I promise if you keep searching for everything beautiful in this world
you will eventually become it."
Tyler Kent White

Keep searching-
for livelihood, merriment and elation
for devotion, appreciation and promise

Keep searching
for giggles, tenderness and love
for freedom, sanctuary and understanding.

Keep searching-
for crazy, sexy, cool
for calm, collected and peaceful.

But realize you will never find it in another,
you must look within.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go home now." Forrest Gump

"My momma always said, you have to put the past behind you before you move on.  That's what I think my running was all about."
Forrest Gump

For 8 years now, "I've just felt like running."
I've run off the baby weight and mommy stress.
I've run for work and for play.
A soulmate through death, divorce and heartache, running was at my side.
I would even go as far to say that running was my savior. 

I've run many miles in the name of finding myself. 
Running was the drug to numb the pain, and it has been a fun ride! 
But I am no longer dependent on that high.
I stressed my body, was crazy without my fix, and became obsessed with results. 
I have given  up many hours sleep and opportunities to have fun. 
I have literally tortured myself in the name of discipline.

It's so cool what the body and mind can do.  Our bodies are freaking amazing!  I will always be grateful to running for showing me my strong. 
"I'm pretty tired.  I think I'll go home" after Leadville.
As Waylon Lewis says: "I am wearily desperate to just be."