' The secret to health for mind and body is not to morn for the past,worry about the future,or anticipate troubles,but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.'
I have always been a seeker,seeking to find that secret which would lead to that unobtainable nirvana that we all strive towards. Intrinsically I have always known that it was not to be found in many things that people attach importance to in the search. I have never aspired to own the traditional trappings of success,even when working hard and earning good money.I have never owned,or wanted to own a house,have never had vehicles which could be used to display monetary or social status. My fault is more complex-living too much of my life in the past and the future.
Failures,especially in terms of the heart,haunt me-taint my view of the world today.I still harbor grudges from times past and refuse to accept that people/lifes/opinions would have changed. I reminisce with songs,allow them to take me back to times past-both good and bad. The same old songs,the same old artists.
I look to the future. I am a dreamer. I dream of love to be won,races to be run,challenges to conquer-all in the future. At the end of the day I realize that I've spent all day planning and missed out on a beautiful morning full of bird song,a wild winter walk on a stormy beach,a chance encounter with an old friend-the present. I realize that life needs to be lived in the present,accept the past,forget the grudges,allow change and forget about the future. The future can only be shaped by what we do today.
I finished my last job precisely because it robbed me of the present. I enjoyed the company of workmates,but this was not enough to compensate for the tedium that I felt. I found myself wishing away the present ,looking forward to the next break/the end of the day/the end of the week. It became obvious that I could no longer accept this. Life is too brief,too full of wonder and opportunities to wish a vast proportion of it away.
Running allows me to connect with the present. The moments when you are acutely aware of your body,your breathing,the surrounding. Running in fivefingers helps-allows me to be aware of the terrain,to feel the difference even between the different road surfaces-allows me to connect with the present.
Still,with running,it is easy to lose the present. On long gentle runs it is easy to let the mind wander,thinking of events past and future,to miss out on what is happening around you. Indeed the whole competitive aspect of running lends,at least in part, to living in the future. Everyone has times and races they would like to achieve and do well in and therefore look to the future. My goal is simple-to enjoy my running everyday. If there's aspects of training I dislike-intervals or circuits for example, I will think of how I could make them enjoyable,and if I draw a blank,simply not do them. I now place no emphasis on race performances,if I run well-all well and good,if I don't -theres always another. The ironic thing is my performances continue to improve. To forget about the future allows me to forget about races,allows me to disconnect with preformance as a booster to ego.I don't follow any schedule,don't run any set distances or times.I like to run longer and like to run relatively slow-to enjoy the run,enjoy the present.I'll run as my mood on the day takes me.
Tuesday was a case in point. I awoke in the morning to a beautiful, bright spring day. It was precisely the sort of day for spending outside. I wanted to run and wanted to run long. I decided to run the 26 mile seabank marathon course from Skegness to Boston,mainly because I had training that night at Boston with the club and running there ,on such a great day would enjoyable-would make the present enjoyable. I ran 8 miles with the club that night and ,on returning to the banger ,felt shattered. I'm racing our local half marathon this weekend and thoughts went through my head that I may have harmed my chances of running fast.However as the Great God of Sleep reared his head I thought, 'You know what..I've really enjoyed today...I don't care! '