So, today I jogged. For the second time this week. Nothing monumental. No ribbons or medals were earned.
On the trail.
For one minute increments.
Now, considering I was logging 10+ milers a year and a half ago, that 60 seconds of slow jogging seems rather… rather… well, like a giant leap backwards. Of course, this obviously is the wrong perspective to have if I want to keep from traveling down the “I’m so disappointed in myself” path.
On the flip side, if I compare that 30 minute trip down the trail with being so overcome by adrenal fatigue I hardly moved for two whole days (like to and from the bathroom only) back in December… and the continuing bouts of fatigue since then… well, those 10 jogging minutes (20 walking) suddenly become significant don’t they?
I’ll admit, running in the past meant “calorie burn” or “weight loss” or “payback for binging”. Some of those old feelings about it went by the wayside during marathon training in 2013, but since I stopped dieting back in November, I’ve struggled with my feelings toward running. After Black Belt (which required running), I just couldn’t bring myself to run. I was too tired (like debilitating) and everything hurt. Running just wasn’t fun anymore.
Today wasn’t about anything other than getting outside with the husband. It wasn’t about time, or mileage, or calories, or weight, or “getting in shape”, or even health. It was about breathing deep of the fresh morning air. It was about seeing the sun rise. It was about wearing the dog out. It was about chatting with the husband between jogging intervals (we had two minutes of walking recovery between each). It was about a desire to recapture my love of running. It was about wanting to do races again.
Yes, there was a time when I loved to run. I believed I was fast. I believed I could run all day. One cousin in particular remarked that she never ran more than when she was playing with me… because I ran everywhere. I didn’t walk if running was acceptable. It was faster after all.
As I sat her contemplating this seemingly inconsequential run, I remembered the episode of Friends where Phoebe runs. I don’t remember the rest of the episode, but the part where she runs in the park with Rachel is hilarious. She looks like a free-spirited child… with a bit of goofyness thrown in. Rachel describes her as” a cross between Kermit the Frog and The Six Million Dollar Man”. When Rachel tells her friend she’s embarrassed to run with her, Phoebe has this to say about her running style:
“I’m more free y’know? I run like I did when I was a kid, ’cause that’s the only way it’s fun. Y’know, I mean, didn’t you ever run so fast you thought your legs were gonna fall off? Y’know, like when you were like running towards the swings or running away from Satan? (Rachel looks confused) The neighbor’s dog.”
Little kids don’t run because they are worried about cholesterol, or their weight, or the red-velvet cake they ate last night. They don’t even run to hit a certain weekly mileage. No, they run for the fun of it. They laugh while they run. They strike out with reckless abandon toward their next destination. Obviously, adults have to be more careful, but I do believe it’s possible to be physically active for the fun of it… for how it makes you feel even.
Did you know that just a 10 minute brisk walk can improve your mood? Good heavens, what woman couldn’t use a mood enhancer sometimes? You don’t even need special gear for that. And that’s just the physical movement of walking. Imagine if your walk was associated with marveling at God’s beautiful creation? Maybe you spot a cute bunny on the side of the trail nibbling some clover. Or perhaps you get the delight of a family of deer crossing the trail ahead of you. Or maybe it’s just hilarious to see your dog so excited to be outside smelling stuff. I’ve been delighted by snowflakes landing on my “cheeks and eyelashes”. I’ve enjoyed the fragrance of spring flowers blooming… the magnificence of the trees towering above and the majesty of the mountains rising up to meet the sky.
Hmm, today’s jog is seeming more significant by the minute.