Tuesday, July 15, 2008

7/15/08 Finding Peace

I went running this morning after the arduous triple dropoff. As I was stretching at the end, a man preparing to go "to the top" (that means the top of the PG&E trail, the highest point on Rancho San Antonio loop trails), asked me if I'd come from there. I explained that I used to run up there, and might again, but I'm managing tendonitis and back issues and have to keep my runs short. He suggested walking instead, using yoga breathing, and explained that he's managing chronic pain from a back injury, and found that meditative walking and breathing were even better than running. I explained that I did try walking when my feet were at their worst, but it just wasn't the same, and I found it frustrating. He stressed again that it can take some learning, but with the right breathing and style of walking, it really is better for the body, and perhaps soul. You really take in your surroundings, absorb them and become part of them, when walking.

I don't doubt what he was telling me, and others have urged me to consider meditation or other forms of mental relaxation. Indeed, managing my spinning mind has always been behind my drive to exercise. But I heard it put perfectly by, of all people, Debra Winger, on a radio interview, when she too explained that meditation didn't do it for her: "I need to keep my body busy to quiet my mind."

In fact, I've often found the "calm" part of a yoga class at the end the most work. For some of us, peace doesn't come easy. It takes effort to achieve mental calm with physical calm.

My mind was at its clearest today at the end of my run, when I did a full-on no-holds-barred sprint. In addition to completely detoxifying my mind and body, those sprints elicit many a comment and start many a conversation! Including, ironically, one about meditation, a very opposite action.

But, as I sit here typing, it feels like there's a layer of bees all around both my feet -- buzzing again. Dang it all. I haven't felt that in a long time, but it seems two runs in three days is just enough. Even short runs that don't cause any immediate foot pain still aggravate my back to cause this referred foot buzzing.

Heard me complain about headaches recently? Nope! I haven't had a real migraine in weeks -- I've lost track how many! How often do I get to say that! I have a bad feeling going back to work will bring them right back on, but for now, I'm coasting with it.

I'm not getting nearly as much done at home during this week as I'd intended, though I'm probably getting more done than I think. The mid-day interruption of picking Julian up, while welcome and enjoyable, splits up my time and reduces my productivity. I got a call from our contractor's assistant today -- they need bathroom plumbing fixtures within a few weeks, so picking shower fixtures has suddenly become urgent. That's tomorrow's task. But if I'm on a roll in the late morning, I'll have to drop it to go get Julian.

I like my afternoons alone with Julian though. I still get little things done, and I have fun talking to him, doing things with him, each of us doing our own thing sometimes, interacting other times. One thing about having three, it makes one-on-one time that much more valuable.


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