Sunday, May 16, 2010

Being and Doing

There are many phases or levels of walking, running or run walking. The first few months are the times of discovering your own body again. Where you are strong, where you are weak and all that's in between. Those beginning months are when every week and sometimes everyday are new personal records of distance and speed. As your body adapts to the stress of exercise your mind becomes dependant on that wonderful feeling of motion.

The next level of motion is doing the race events. It's a whole new world when we join others. We are no longer just someone out getting in better shape, this is the time we realize we are indeed athletes. We are not fast or lean yet but we are well on our way and we have started to form dreams and goals.

After a few years of doing the races and steadily improving we get to a point where we begin to feel that we are as strong and fast and lean as we are going to get. We are having fun with our training and racing but it's beginning to get stale. It seems that the excitement is not there like it used to be. We enjoy the company of our friends we see at our races and those who sometimes train with us. But something is missing.

The next level is not one that just counciously happens. At this level we differ greatly in where we branch out. Some just quit and take a break for a few weeks or months or years. I have been there several times. Often quiting for years before suddenly getting the desire again to lace up and begin again. Other times we advance to long distance and move up to marathons or ultras. Instead of 5Ks and 10Ks we do the half and full marathons. Races become a good excuse to travel and a race becomes a mini vacation and and adventure.

The next level is one that writers have tried to describe for years. It's like the zen of motion. It's where we are there doing our miles, not because we are training for something but because we just enjoy the being and the doing. It's where we no longer even time our runs or walks but just do them because it's the best time of our day. It's when we meet others to do some miles just because being with good friends in the open air, with the sounds and smells of the world around you is just about the best feeling in the world.

Whatever level we are in our journey to health and happiness, being in motion should be a part of it. Our wonderful bodies were designed for motion not for sitting around watching life go by.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda

1 comment:

Genny said...

I love everything you said. I've experienced some of the feelings but am pretty new to most of it. Getting ready to start walking in
5Ks and beyond! THANK YOU!