Overcoming A Dreaded Run

Even that which we initially dread can become a beautiful experience through a new perspective.


By Trailmind at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

I had a beautiful morning run last week.  I've stopped running for most of December, so getting back into the habit is quite a challenge.  (And, to clarify, that isn't my path in the photo above.  I only dream of having places like that to run.)


That morning, I'd gone out with headphones and music but no GPS, intending to try and just zone out (and not worry about distance or time).

As the fog settled around me, I decided to hold off on listening to music.  There were so many things around that were lifting my spirits and my steps - the soft sounds of melting snow, the anticipation of the school bus passing (when my kids always wave out the windows on their way to school and the driver offers a friendly honk), the changing landscapes of the homes I run past on a regular basis, and several birds darting from tree to tree.

My mind started in fascinating bursts of contemplation.  Because I didn't have my phone, I had no way to remember the thoughts...but did want to forget these amazing insights that were coming from some unknown source of wisdom.  I started using a memory technique to help remember them, capturing one word from each thought that would help me to recall them.  As I repeated the words, they became the rhythm to which I would run until a new thought wanted attention.

(In case you are wondering, my list as as follows: Recycling. Spiritual Integration. Me too. Liver. Experience Never As Painful. Run/90/Mental. Rain Drop. I Can't.)

Go ahead, try to make sense of it.  It's amusing reading through them now, but each hinted at a beautiful series of thoughts I wanted to explore.  (Ok, except for the "recycling".  I just needed to remember to set it out when I got home.....)


If I would have allowed myself to attend to the music, these thoughts would not have had the space to arise.  I'm sure I would have had a powerful run, but would've missed out on my own insights. 


Instead, I tried something new.  

No music, no expectations for the run, just listening.


Tomorrow, I'll probably need my music to keep me going.  Some days are just like that.  And that's ok too.

Each experience, each perspective taken on that experience, has something to teach us as long as we are willing to listen.


What is your favorite way to run or walk - with music?  Aside city streets?  In the country?  Early mornings or mid afternoon?  Leave a comment and let me know!

(As I end this post, I'm going to run on the dreaded treadmill.  Help me remember what I try to teach...)