Monday, May 31, 2010

Listen, my children, and you shall hear...

I was supposed to run a quarter marathon yesterday. But, a convergence of (minor) misfortunes--a pulled adductor muscle, stomach flu, head cold--cost me three weeks of training and made running 6.5 miles seem like a very bad idea.

It's so hard to listen to your own advice. Pay attention to just yourself; modify the sequence to suit your body; only you can know if the pose is working or not. All fine and good to suggest during yoga class, but start me slogging down the street and it's all the old voices of junior high school track (too slow, too heavy) whispering in my ear. So, Mother Nature decided to get my attention with a mighty twinge in my right thigh. I thought I'd better listen.

In the beginning o
f this year I trained for, and ran in, a sprint triathlon. I had two goals: 1. To see if I could actually do the work without killing myself (yes) and 2. To tame my hyper-competitive spirit (sorta). Funny how that is such a problem for me--and maybe why yoga appeals so much.

I love swimming. I love riding my bike. Running makes me feel lumpy and slumpy and like I'm just pounding along. But, I enjoy the cross-training and I think it is good for me to have to work on something that doesn't come easily. That has a lot of voices attached to it. I have to remind myself frequently to just do the work and not focus on the fruits (thanks, B-G).

To me, the whole thing is a nice physical metaphor for life. Some things will come easily and be a delight, some things require a lot of work and are a challenge. How can you adapt your thinking so that you will be open to learning from both experiences? Maybe even find some joy in the rough stuff (or at least be at peace with it)?

The leg is fine, now. I have another triathlon in July, that I'm really looking forward to. My massage therapist noted that the yin meridian in my right leg was blocked so I'm working on getting the chi flowing. I went out for a bike ride this afternoon that was lovely. No voices, just breeze and open fields and bird song.

Doesn't that sound nice...

7 comments:

Linda-Sama said...

"My massage therapist noted that the yin meridian in my right leg was blocked"

yin yoga for you, lady!!

Emma said...

Funny how things work... I plan to start running soon, mainly because I hated it for so long. But I want to try, and train so I am able to run a 5k.
We can be so weird sometimes.

La Gitane said...

Glad your leg is healing! I ran for about 5 years, and 2 pretty seriously until I started to injure my achilles tendon, ankles and knees (hereditary weak spots unfortunately - thanks mom!).

Running was always hard for me - I think it's that way for everyone who's not Forrest Gump to be honest! It took me about 2 years of solid training to even get to te point where occasionally I enjoyed myself! But there are lots of things you can do to help.

Something that helped me was to work with a physio (I got to do this for free cause she is a friend!) who watched me run and pointed out things about my running style that I could correct to reduce the risk of injury, such as where and how I was placing my feet.

It was kind of like yoga, but while running!

Anyway, you're right - if things aren't hard, would they be as rewarding?

Good luck healing and training for the next one!

Tiffany @ Moving Meditation said...

I hope you're feeling better! I say all of those things when I teach too, and then I have the hardest time backing off when my own body needs a break.

I did my first (and probably only) sprint triathlon about two years ago. For me, the swimming is absolutely terrifying, but overall the experience was terrific. I agree that you can find some joy in the rough stuff - well said!

YogaforCynics said...

I just came back from five days at the shore, where I spent, as I always do, something like three hours a day on a long beach walk. One thing about walking in sand, in terms of tightening up the hamstrings, it makes biking look like nothin'. But, even though my legs were sore as hell, I actually canceled appointments back home so I could take another long walk today. At least it gave me a break from biking, which my body badly needs, though I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow. No question, without yoga, these healthy addictions of mine would take much more of a toll on me...

Brenda P. said...

Nice to hear we all seem to be out there cross-training. Another benefit (besides better sleep, less crabbiness, more ice cream) is that the running, etc. frees my yoga to be more-than-exercise. Yes, there is a physical aspect, but that seems like a secondary benefit.

All the more reason to work the bod out on the road and come back to the mat to work out the mind. (You could probably argue that the exercise does the same thing...)

@Dr. Jay--I have a beach in my future...thinking about sand as a "prop" for training...

Emma said...

i hate running. maybe some day ill realize that its just something i need to work on and see why that is in a deeper way.. but really it just makes me hurt in a not pleasant way.