Running is a bit like being pregnant; there are many stages, many phases, emotions rising, trees subsiding… sometimes you don’t want to, but you do it anyway.
We all have a human form and a spirit form. What that means is that the human part is concerned with ‘lower’ desires and habitual ways of interacting with the world — this can be anything from low self-esteem, to drinking too much, feeding anger, being grouchy at circumstances, and responses that are reactive rather than genuine. Then we have the human spirit: the one who breaks boundaries, tries new things and forms new responses, feels the life flowing through the body, interacts spontaneously in actions, and loses sense of time or self.
For the past four years, I have been regularly dedicating my spirit form to running. This is primarily to remain disciplined and to break boundaries and fear. There is a human pattern to it — when my focus is set on the pain in my body, giving into a drop in energy and getting lazy mid-run with motivation, or being self-conscious that “I’m a person running on the street” with other beings moving among me.
But, there’s also a spiritual element that keeps me going strong: moving my gaze up to focus just on the canopy of trees above my head in the park and noticing what kind of clouds are in the sky. Smiling at passerby to reach out from “my little world” and connect with them beyond boundaries. Remembering that it’s not serious but a fun little dance of consciousness, throwing my limbs forward like a rabbit or mouse or frog.
I am sharing this with you not to boast (what good would that do, anyway?!) but to show you the power of the human mind and soul.
Neither outer nor inner conditions have ever stopped these legs from getting their work done, though. Since 2015, between 5-10km most days of the year…
The day after my dad’s death: dedicated to him.
On Christmas Day, New Years’ Eve, and New Years’ Day (after a few drinks…)
In the depths of winter, rain, hail, and 40° heat
When my emotions were the lowest of the low, dragging every step
In between working 5 days per week while making music albums, podcasting, and painting
Without food or water up to 10k
With my eyes closed
Attached to a race dog
Through forests, foreign cities, canals, on the side of the Himalayan highway (with Indian drivers), and getting lost in my own city
Singing “Hare Krishna” the whole way, chanting mantras, hearing podcasts, and thinking up podcasts or writing songs…
I’ve been afraid that my consciousness would leave my body, being so high… and afraid to sh*% myself in the middle of busy streets after way too much plane travel or recovering from illness — (it’s a real risk! “Runner’s trots”, you know.)
And all this time, this has been solo; to never run a race or compete with anyone else. I’ve been my own best companion.
What does this say about the human spirit? If a small, 5’2″ woman can get up every morning and make it happen, then what else is possible for human beings?
Here is a great podcast to get you into the flow of the possiblity of what we can achieve when spiritual energy is behind a practice. This man holds a 52-day race in New York City where the equivelant of 2 marathons per day are run by participants:
Enjoy, and comment with your ‘impossible feats’ from beyond!