“Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being — a call that asks who they are …”
– David Blaikie

Monday, September 25, 2017

Taking a Breather from Routine...


Some people thrive in a routine and some people do not.  I am one of those people who experiences both.  I thrive when I have predictable events occurring each day - I can plan ahead and keep my head on straight!  But if this goes on for too long, it is crucial that I take a breather.  Routine can gain centrifugal force and before I know it, I am in auto-pilot.  I get stuck having the perception that I have to go-go-go and stay busy.  Self inflicted busyness is truly over-glorified and using it as a distraction to avoid something deeper is the most juvenile way to avoid festering issues from deep within.  Go ahead and quote me on that (wink..wink..)

If I do not step away or remove myself from the monotony of routine, I will either deal with some depression, anxiety (feeling like I am truly suffocating or trapped), or, if it goes on way too long, I will accept it.  Accepting it is quickly followed by embracing it and holding a death grip onto a false sense of control; then the unpredictability will trigger some unwanted thoughts and emotions - and lest we forget, behaviors.  At this point, I become fearful of change (which is the most dangerous for me, personally) as it is paralyzing.

Stepping away for a bit, and making things slow down is important for my well being.  Reflecting on the slow-mo video I created above. When I get away, I allow myself to thaw for a moment.  Time creeps by as I watch the most miniature of processes in nature unfold.  It snowed yesterday and the drops of water are melting off the roof.  Just watching it through a slow-motion lens is soothing.  Watching life in a similar way is therapeutic - and necessary - before going back out into the busyness of the world and becoming hardened again by the cold...

I have been dealing with a bit of depression and anxiety, unfortunately, and getting away usually does the trick!  It keeps me busy in a growth sense - not a distracting one.  I enjoy exploring and working on those new pathways of thought by creating memories and new visual associations.  It also forces me to sllllooowww the hell dowwwnnn.  What ultimately got me out of bed this morning, in particular, was Tarryn Nettles, with GT Nutrition Performance, on her Instagram account mentioning that we should never apologize for who we are.  Often, I get caught up in feeling down because those around me do not understand that I cannot just "snap out of it" or "power-of-positive-thought" my way out of depression (imagine telling someone with Asthma to think positive so they can breathe). I have been able to trial and error what works and what does not - for me.  When things get foggy internally, I look outward and seek words that inspire me.  Sometimes it is a quote that jumps out at me.  Sometimes it is a funny meme - laughter truly is a great tool! And, lately, it has been others speaking out about their own struggles. I used to seek out relatable material or follow those who have journeys with the same struggle (and who are still heavily in that struggle) but that often has had the opposite effect; hence the reason I try to remain a source of hopefulness, rather than "Here we go again..." followed by the rant of my condition and mental state at the time (which, most times, is not helpful to anyone - even myself!).

I am grateful to be able to tag along with my husband from time to time on his work trips.  This trip brings us to Park City, Utah.  I have never been to Utah, so it is refreshing.  I am more of a mountain lover than a beach gal any day.  I have lived in both areas (South Florida as well as Arizona!) and I prefer the challenge of hiking through mountainous terrain to the challenge of removing sand from all crevices of my body.  Ewww.  Both places, however, have magnificent views. I used to run to the beach early in the mornings to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and spend countless hours running along A1A, avoiding the "no-see-ums".  I would also wake up and run in the desert, experiencing the sunrise from just over the mountains.  Equally breathtaking...

I always dream about retiring and having a place in the Keys as well as a place near Lake Tahoe.  Truly, the best of both worlds.  


Back to the present: After a very long afternoon of traveling yesterday and finally arriving at our destination (somewhere on the fence between late at night and early morning), I slept in a woke up to the beautiful view of snow and mountains in the photo above.  All I could see last night were the lights and the snow caps of the mountains glowing under the moon - so this was a sight for tired eyes.  Breathtaking is an understatement....

I look forward to venturing out into the mountains a bit tomorrow.  I drove around and explored the area this afternoon, and found some pathways for me to run and hike.  The Olympic Village is one of the places I plan to go check out.

We have the power to make a change and create how our day will go - sometimes we may not (but those times are fewer and fewer these days).  It takes time and certainly will not happen overnight.  Be patient with yourself without judging it.  I am certainly glad I got up out of bed and looked out the window to see the beauty of nature.  Looking back at all the early morning runs in so many spectacular places, my heart smiles.  Those are memories I can always hang on to because I decided to get up out of bed - even in the darkness - and experience these unspoken and indescribable moments in nature...


Make it a great day!


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