just this breath

98FE3167-A193-4215-95A8-FA39C5DA1F3FNote: This post is a bit of a departure from my usual pottery musings but it’s what’s my head right now. P.S. After reading it again, I realize maybe it’s not that much of a departure after all because these – pottery, yoga and running – are the things that help me keep grounded, requiring patience and hard work but also giving moments of great accomplishment sometimes in the end result, sometimes in the process.

My (home away from home) yoga studio, Honest Soul Yoga, has recently started having a “theme of the month” – which I love. This month, the theme is Just this Breath.  A week ago, I had a last minute opportunity to run in the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. It is a beautiful course – and not having run it before, I think I lucked out considerably in the weather department! But, I wasn’t really gearing up for a long-ish run leading up to it and had just been out to the Cherry Blossom PUB the night before. . . so I was a bit sluggish. In my head, there were lots of thoughts swimming around – I always do some of my best thinking while running – but the one recurring theme was Just this Breath, Just this Step, Just this Mile, Just Keep Going.

At the 1 Mile marker, I was thinking – okay, 1 down . . . only 9 more to go. Which totally made it seem possible until I saw the sign reading “The End is Far” and I was like, oh yeah – I’ve got a LONG way to go.

Around the 5K marker, I got super confused (there’s a split in the road). Luckily there were two volunteers standing there to politely answer my (only slightly grouchy) question about which way to go. Doesn’t matter. Either way. You meet back up about 15 steps or so later but in the moment, I couldn’t see that and convinced myself that I was about to get funneled off to the 5k route.

As you get closer to the finish, there are more people – and more signs. When I passed one that said, “Run faster Right NOW” – surprisingly, I did. Which made me think about how much our bodies are actually capable of. I knew I wasn’t really killing it in the speed department but I thought I was putting everything I could into the run. Just that suggestion from a random person put a little more pep in my step.

And then I was done. I finished. Not my best pace but I expected that going in. And, you know what? Had I really been pushing it, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the experience as much.

Ten miles is a long time in my head. Here’s what I was left with at the end.

  • Yes, it’s good to have goals and to think about how you’ll get from here to there faster (in life and on the course).
  • Remembering to not only focus on the outcome can be good too, there’s lots to enjoy along the way.
  • Even when you think you’re giving it everything you’ve got, you might have a little more oomph left.

Oh, and that I probably wouldn’t have made it without the all of the people along the way.

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