Friday, June 12, 2009
Running as Prayer
I recently started running again after a 5 month hiatus. In the first few weeks I questioned whether or not I belonged locked up someplace. Who would do that to themselves? After the initial training period in which I thought I just might die in the middle of the road, I caught my stride. Running for me has always been relaxing. I hit the road cranky and full of anger and I come back too tired to be irritable anymore. Could be that I am just too tired to be angry, or it could be the fact that my daily runs are a spiritual practice. Every footfall creates a beat, I connect with the earth, I connect with my breath and body and ultimately, I connect with God. My mind is still going around in circles, gripes come up, but I am forced to pay attention to my relationship with the surrounding landscape as well as the interior landscape (aka my screaming lungs). I accomplish something and I take care of my body, which is the first to be neglected throughout the day. Years of abuse, alcohol, food, cigarettes and caffeine did not signal to God that I was worthy of love, or that I took care of what I had been given. When I run, I kind of let God know that I am taking care of her creation, that I am willing to be open to change and to learn and grow (and hopefully fit into my skinny jeans at the same time). My running mantra, Thank (footfall) You (footfall) Gasp.