Monday Meditation: Shift Happens

29 Oct

I don’t know what came over me yesterday morning, but I woke up in a pretty considerable funk.  Maybe it was the anxiety of Hurricane Sandy’s approach to the Northeast, the list of chores to do with very little time, or serious caffeine withdrawal. Whatever it was, I was a little off kilter. As I was hemming and hawing and whining like a child, my husband threw his arms up and said, “OH MY GOD! When will you be able to start running again?!” I of course proceeded to beat him senseless with a flimsy cardboard paper towel tube. There, that feels better.

In all seriousness, he had a point. Being out of my routine has been difficult and stressful. Since running is not a safe option right now (unless I want to end up with a cast on my foot), I searched the trusty Internets for some wise words to help me get through my current lack of mileage. This is what I found:

“If you aim for a lifetime of running, you will hit bumps on the road. The challenges we each encounter are uniquely ours, but they will come. We all have good years and bad. Shift happens. Life requires us to make adjustments, to change course. Some years, when the waters of your life are calm and you feel a sense of control at the helm, you’ll race hard, and hope for personal bests. Other years, beset by a perfect storm of turbulence, you’ll have to settle for less. That’s okay. Less is still something; just don’t surrender and abandon ship.”

-Amby Burfoot

At the core of mindfulness is the idea of acceptance. As runners, there will be a time when we encounter circumstances that get in the way of doing what we love – be it an injury, a family emergency, an unexpected crisis, a last minute change in plans, a Frankenstorm, etc. We can spend a great deal of time lamenting these challenges and their impact on our ability to get a tempo run in, hit a race PR, or even to lace up and hit the road at all. It can be easy to give up or give in to the misery of “the run that got away.” Or, we can adjust to these challenges by taking care of ourselves, finding alternative exercises or stress relievers, and altering our goals.

Shift happens. Sometimes that means hanging up our running shoes (temporarily) and letting our bodies heal. And that’s OK. Until I can safely get back to running again, I will remind myself of this every day. My focus for now will be on resting and healing the Mysterious Foot Injury (AKA unconfirmed stress fracture), exploring low-impact alternative cross training options, and altering my goals for upcoming winter races.



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