Monday, March 28, 2011

Vulnerability- Between Wind and Water

Gail Sheehy

I had a dream a few days ago where someone very clearly said to me “running makes you vulnerable.”  Wow.  The very word makes me want to hide under the covers.  Running shouldn’t make me feel vulnerable; it should feel strong and safe.  But as a runner, I am reminded of my shortcomings on a weekly basis.   The truth is that lately my runs have felt more like a chore to mark off the list than a fun play date; and since my goal race has some pretty serious ground to cover…well….that scares me.  It feels as if I'm a ship between wind and water. 

How many times in our running journey do we compare ourselves to others, or doubt that we are good enough?  With each goal that we set, we open ourselves to experience disappointment or anxiety.    We put our heart on a platter, and serve it up for everyone to feast judgment on. 

Dr Marcy Cole says “The ego judges, while our spirit is compassion. The ego runs with fear, while our spirit is fueled by faith.”
I think that in my dream, my spirit is begging me to use it as fuel for my continued journey.   It’s time to quiet my doubting mind and to go on a fearless adventure.   It’s time to be invulnerable. 


  1. Jennifer, I didn't realize how vulnerable running makes me until going to run races after I had my children. Every child I saw on the sidelines made me want to cry. And one time I saw an unattentive (well, attentive on the race) dad miss their 2 year old falling out of a stroller to the cement. This past Sunday's race I watched a little boy run down the sidewalk and faceplant as I ran by. Heard his howls behind me. Both times I had wanted to scoop up and protect these children. I'm not an overly sappy mother. I'm okay with having my time away and traveling without them, but when I'm running... wow, all bets are off in this emotionally draining activity we partake in, and you can set off the motherly tears in a snap. :-) Hope that ramble made sense. Great post, Jennifer!

  2. Yep- I get it! It opens you up to all kinds of raw emotional stuff!

  3. What if we compared ourselves to the rocks, dirt, creek and hill instead of other runners? How fast can you go today? Who knows. Are you trying? Are you going to win? Yes, you are going to win. Vulnerability is on the plane or in the car; Spirit is on the (trail) run.