Yesterday morning, something extremely odd happened to me.
I wanted to go for a run. Outside. In the cold.
I think the Universe sent me for a run on purpose. Crazy? Maybe. But let me give you a little background.
My history with running has always been tumultuous. I joined the cross country team my junior year of high school because some upperclassmen convinced myself and some of my friends to join the team. That first year was really tough, but the second year (my senior year), I started to really enjoy running, and was starting to really hit my stride (har har)…and then one day, mid-run, I stepped hard on a tree root, and BOOM! Hello, plantar fasciitis.[caption id="attachment_1368" align="aligncenter" width="584"] myself & some of my high school buddies recovering on my car after an XC practice! …that car was awesome. also, I still have those shorts. no joke.[/caption]
I took a break from running and was easing my way back into it a month or two later. But then…I went to a concert, was in a mosh pit, and jumped up really high and when I landed…BOOM! I tore my ACL, MCL, and LCL. A month on crutches, followed my knee surgery, followed by physical therapy, followed by the cross country season was over and so was my running life.
I don’t think I ran once in college. Not surprising, given my awful habits back then. When I graduated and finally started getting control over my health, I started to get back into the swing. It was rough, but eventually I started to actually enjoy my runs. I ran two 5ks in the summer of 2010!
And then, I guess I just…stopped! I completely lost interest after a few 5ks. I would run every once in a while–spurts of crazy enthusiasm for running followed by months without any desire to hit the pavement. I even trained for a 10k, only to never run one because I simply lost the passion. I still run once in a great while, but usually it’s only a mile or two on the treadmill, and usually it is run/walk intervals.
But yesterday morning, as I was waking myself up by looking at Instagram, I suddenly felt a really intense urge to slap on some workout clothes, throw my hair up, lace up my shoes, and head out the door for a run. It was seriously like some kind of weird fitness horror monster/ghost possessed my body. As I was getting ready to go out, my brain kept saying, “what?! no! you hate running! why?! this is going to be awful!” but my body just kept going for it.[caption id="attachment_1371" align="aligncenter" width="764"] !the first step is the hardest[/caption]
It’s funny, because I had just been talking with my sister Christina about how I don’t really like running, but I do it every once in a while anyway. Well…I like the first 5 minutes, and then when it is over. In between, I’m mostly bargaining with myself to keep going for 30 more seconds before stopping to walk for a minute. While yesterday was no different, I was really happy and proud of myself for getting out the door and getting it done!
A few minutes after I started, I was turning onto the street where there is a lovely little pond. It was frozen over. All of a sudden, I saw a huge, beautiful blue heron fly over my head & land on the frozen pond. I have always loved blue herons–we moved a lot when I was young, but my favorite house was next to a small river, and a blue heron lived there. Maybe it’s a little hokey or superstitious to say, but this is the 3rd time I have seen a blue heron since moving to Connecticut, and every time I have seen one, it has been at a time in my life that I felt a little lost and unsure of what the future holds. Yesterday was no different.[caption id="attachment_1373" align="aligncenter" width="764"] the view along my run. they’re no blue herons, but these canadian geese were nice to me. they usually hiss at me when I walk by…[/caption]
I can’t go into details online, but there are a lot of potential MAJOR changes on the horizon. While I’m excited, I’m also pretty nervous about these changes. My run yesterday really gave me a chance to think about the future, and to tell myself to slow down and take each day as it comes. I’ve been so focused on decisions that won’t be made for another two months or so, that I’ve been forgetting to pay attention to the life that I’m living now, TODAY. It was such a great attitude check, and it was just in time.
The next month & a half at work is going to be super stressful! I don’t talk about work much here on the blog, mostly because my job is very public. But, this coming stretch of two months is going to be really crazy. I have to get my kids ready for two concerts, an adjudicated competition…but I also have to assess each of my 200 students individually two times this month in order to have my choir placements for next year done by April 1st…all this while CAPT starts in the first two weeks of April, meaning I will have even less instructional time than I do in the first place! I don’t have much time at all to teach these pieces, and I’m definitely stressing about it.
So, during my run I realized that I simply can’t have my focus & energy on the future–I have to be present here, now, and tend to the things that I’m responsible for. Who knows what I might miss if I don’t take the time to savor the days that are happening now? Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, after all.