Monday, September 19, 2005

I Bought a Pair of Brand New Running Shoes

Working from home has gotten to me lately.

I've been feeling certain low levels of boredom and depression. Getting out to grocery shop has not been an easy task for me lately.

I sit at the computer day in and day out and sometimes never leave my house. So it's no surprise that I've been seriously daydreaming of getting out and exercising to increase my energy level. It is imperative to my discipline and work load. If I ever want to be a success, I need to first be successful within my own self.

I've been on the treadmill 8-10 times this past year, always being ever so gentle with myself, stopping as soon as I start to breathe heavy or feel boredom coming on. And, if that's not embarrassing enough, in that little time and so little miles, the treadmill's running belt split open the bottoms of my shoes. Kelly said I needed to buy a pair of *real* running shoes.

And so I did.

When I was a child I loved to run and would run everywhere. I did it effortlessly. In junior high and high school, I loved Track & Field. I adored the explosion of coming out of the starting block into a brief burst of an all-out-effort to the finish line just seconds later.

The long distance running was never my thing, though. I hated running laps around the school field for exercise. It wasn't so much that it was painful. It was just boring. Yet, lately I've been thinking I should take up running. It feels essential to my self-discipline in being a successful self-employed artist.

I sit too much and have overdosed myself in more than enough alone-time. So I decided it's best to run and to get my heart flowing again.

So yesterday morning over a large breakfast, Kelly and Matt invited me to go on an easy run with them. It was a good opportunity to wear my new running shoes. I laced up my dreams and headed out to join them.

Kelly is an ultra runner. In the past year, she has run in the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in California, The Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run in Utah and the Cascade Crest in Washington. Matt easily runs 35 miles... and is training for a 50 Mile Run in November.

I've never run more than a mile at once in my life.

We started just outside Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, located high in the Mayacamas mountain range separating the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Thankfully, we didn't run up against any deer, gray foxes, bobcats or coyote that live among the oak trees and grassy hillside. My eyes were mostly kept down, watching the tops of my new shoes getting dustier while darting over rocks, fallen branches, tree roots, horse manure and mud.

There were so many moments I wanted to quit. Especially when I got the painful side ache. And when my feet felt so heavy, it took every strength I had to lift them just high enough so as not to drag them along the dirt. Maybe it was the time, I felt my heart beating in my face and pulsating in my eyes. Or when I started to dry heave and thought I was going to throw up my breakfast.

But I didn't quit. I walked when I no longer could run. But I never stopped, and I mostly ran the three miles up hill and three miles back down. My heart and sweat beating out of my pores.

It was the first time I ever pushed myself beyond my comfort limits.

It ended up being a great day yesterday. I allowed to feel my heart really beat hard and fast against my chest for the first time. To feel the sweat on my back seep into my shorts. It was a time when I realized that I am more than I thought I could be and it was inside me all along just waiting for an opportunity like yesterday for me to see it.

Thank you Kelly and Matt for inviting me to run yesterday. Because you both are so great, you pushed me to be great in my own right. I needed that moment. To see what I'm made of.

To grab hold of this new experience and ride it like there’s no tomorrow.

Because we only know too well, there may not be. Life is short and I want to live my life as fully as I can. And I think it did begin again. It was yesterday.


Monica said...

Yay!! I'm so proud of you, keep up the running!! For your own sanity, and so I can live through you since I never can seem to force myself to do it, haha!

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you. You never give up.
Lets not paint anymore. WHAT?