Milestones. Each one brings with it a new reality.
I ran 12.5 miles along Kelly Drive today behind a man that taught me how to take it all in stride. I was determined to go further, faster, firmer. I would find myself wanting to sprint, or stop. Fly or fall.
Today I learned to slow my role and endurance shone through. I noticed and I saw others notice too. Like this light I felt coming out of me was visible. I realized the runner I've become, the runner I've been and the one I want to become.
It's not always about going faster, or pushing harder learning to fly, or extracting the essence of the universe to get your gait on. I took flight today, by digging down deep, planting myself inside and my feet on the ground naturally. Letting it flow. Letting it go. Relinquishing.
I was running past a man that kept passing me. I finally decided to stay behind him and see what happened. I fought the urge to pass him and go faster. I noticed he kept the same stride soft, subtle, relaxed and at the same pace the entire time.
Although I felt that rush inside that made me want to go full speed ahead, because I was energized and endorphins were talking to me,I stayed steady at the same pace and dug down deep inside and stayed there.
I went further inside than usual, until I was "in the ground" I "was the ground." I let my body be more limp, more into this earth that I am asking to receive me. My arms dropped down closer to my waist my hands weren't as flexed. They were scooping the wind relaxed and natural. I focused on easy posture and pace, relaxation and my still inner quiet. Letting go of the self.
I breathed in and out, steadily. Using mostly my nose. (Read Fix Your Run Blog by Lululemon's expert running coach, John Goldthorp, for more on breathing with only your nose for increased benefits and decreased injuries.)
Instead of lifting off, taking flight from the core of the earths crust, I dug down deep into the ground. I was the core. I stayed so deep inside that it was me alone out there with hundreds of people, hundreds of souls and I was alone. I felt spirits, but no bodies.
Then I felt only my own soul, only my own spirit and I was whole.
No images that stopped me in my tracks making me want to snap a photo, or distract me from my vision and purpose. I was an island. I was everything and nothing. The runners beside me felt the same as the trees.
When I stopped to stretch my legs against the trees, which always have the power to restore me instantly, I saw no eyes, or felt none other than the bark of the tree, the dirt in the ground.
I literally hugged a tree, falling into it catching my breath and feeling my heart pound deeply. Release. I moaned softly, out loud, just a bit, as the stretching went further than usual, and I exhaled into apparently that which is called, ardha chandra chapasansa, releasing me from any possible tension.
My toes touched the tip of my head, I pulled my knee further from my calf and stretched until my toes were touching the tree in front of me. Arching to such fulfillment. Stretching to perfection. It was something I've always done.
Steady, relaxed and down deep.
Today I breached my threshold and ran all the way to East Falls from Washington Square West Philadelphia. I found peace in my solitude, a place I flourish, a place I continue to return for sanity, a place I'm happy I can have and still have love too. It's where I belong. All I need is me. I'm enough. I found love today, but I'm not doing the Love Run, 1/2 Marathon.