Tales from the Road

May 25, 2015 § 2 Comments

OK, that title is a bit of a stretch, as the topic is simply running (and meditation tossed in for some additional Personal Growth). But here is my story, so far… Last fall, I finally owned up to the fact that while running and at other times, my shoulder was going numb, which would be followed by intense pain that could last for days. This was going on for at least six months…probably longer…but I finally was in enough pain to know that I needed to act. So I saw a somewhat unsympathetic (I think he was disappointed that I wasn’t a more interesting patient) but very good sports physician about the whole affair.  Turns out, my neck is a bit of a mess and all that running I’ve been trying to do (I am still glacially slow) was making it far worse. There were painkillers, x-rays and the thing I dreaded most: physical therapy. What there wasn’t was running. I was benched before I even got good. But the Doctor’s hope was that I could get back to it in several months. And after another horrid winter and months of not feeling too much pain, it looked like this last Sunday: howcaniresist How could I not give it a go? So I put on my running shoes — plus sunblock — and off I went in hopes of reaching the beach before sunset. (Note: This is only two miles, but I felt the need to calibrate.) It wasn’t especially easy, but the lilacs were in full bloom and scented my way while I was busy keeping my shoulders down, neck relaxed and body upright (all things learned at PT…and all harder than you would think.) After what seemed like forever, I reached my destination: payoff And I could not have been happier. The beach was not at all busy, or too cold, or really anything but perfect. So I sat down for a spell and worked on another thing I’ve been avoiding, my LovingKindness* meditation — an exercise that I find even harder than running sometimes. As I write about it now, I do find it interesting that both running and this practice sort of require that you be gentle with yourself, but not at the expense of being persistent. So like me to try to improve both at once. Someday maybe I will give it a rest….but not at the moment, it seems. ANYWAY…we arrived back at the beach for the holiday weekend on Wednesday night and after one rainy day, I was back at it — running and LovingKindness — on Friday, and then Saturday, and yesterday and today. My plan is to do it all week out here and see how it goes. So far, so good. I am finding that doing this almost daily is making the lows less awful and the highs a touch more elevated. And then of course there are the little treats along the way… theearestillsomeplaceswhere horsenot housesrule It seems sometimes as if every bit of non-protected land out here is being overbuilt, but there are still places where other creatures rule. And the horse farms do make me happy. smellofsummer And as we move from late spring to full-on summer, the honeysuckle blankets anything that will have it, making taking a good, deep breath even more rewarding. (And really, this all requires a lot of breathing…very glad not to be in the city during this experiment.) makesyouthink I could look at the dunes forever. Aside from being beautiful, they are also rather fragile and in need of care and consideration. Which, as you are working on your LovingKindness and trying to heal your body, you start seeing in a new light. Not in a bad or needy on inconvenient way, which is a very easy place to find yourself when confronted with things that are delicate and in need of care. But for me at least, in a way that speaks to how it is best to treat yourself and others around you — with patience, understanding, persistence and love. xx * Here is a link for more information, but my go-to guy is Jack Kornfield for these endeavors. http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree/loving-kindness (Photos: Some Cozy Night)

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