Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Marathon-in-Training, part 2

Today's insight:
This is a break, remember to say Thanks.

All along the run today, I repeated it over and over like a mantra:
This is a break, remember to say Thanks.
This is a break, remember to say Thanks.
This is a break, remember to say Thanks

What does this mean?

As I contemplate the whole endurance--gratitude--strength training thing, it occurs to me that in order to get stronger, in order to endure longer and take on more…distance, load, responsibilities …I need to recognize the points along the way where I can take a breather, rest, relax in motion. To find the point of imbalance and breathe through it while heading back towards balance, without necessarily letting it stop me.

Taken in this light, obstacles, delays, and setbacks become opportunities to slow down, ponder, reflect, rest for a minute, and reset. Therefore, obstacles taken with gratitude and a shift in perspective become gifts in their own way. Certainly they build stamina.

The esteemed and illustrious Jennifer, (for some reason I can't get the links to work on Safari. Try this:, spoke of the concept of taking the rocks of our lives, (be they pain, trauma, abuse), and turning them over to reflect on their inherent gifts. Though challenging, when one is able to see the gift of a difficult situation, true healing has occurred. There is a release of the pain and negativity. Wisdom is gained. (That which doesn't kill us certainly makes us stronger.)

No matter how difficult, challenging, FULL your life is at the moment, think of it this way:

This is a break, remember to say Thanks.

Do you feel a shift?

What if this crazy life of mine, so tight and so full, is really a break from a bigger whirl? What if this is really the downtime and I'm gearing up for even more? What if I've been complaining about delays and obstacles, longing for "float time" when this IS the time to heal and rest up? I can't possibly know what the universe has in store for me around the corner, can I? What if this is just the beginning? The training course for the real marathon to come?

With this in mind, I thought of my own small miracles, which allowed me to catch a break:

Getting caught behind a slow stair-stepper.
Swerving around a cluster of tourists taking up the whole jogging path.
Being able to run/write 3 days a week during camp.
My daughter's ability to put herself to sleep now. (FINALLY!)
My daughter's easy, carefree drop-off this morning. (WTF?)
My ability to have a child.
The possibility I might not have any more.
Being in a relationship.
Watching a relationship fall apart.
Having a roof over my head.
Having a $1000 brake job bill. (Gulp, it's just money, I still have a car to drive.)
Being able to express on paper and to those around me the thoughts in my head.
Surviving the chaos thus far and learning to run with it.

When I remember to give thanks for all I have…my hands, my legs, my heart, my capabilities, my intelligence, my problem-solving skills, my family, our house, our car, our preschool, our community of families, of friends and cherished ones who keep me going, who inspire me, the ocean, the sunshine, the good fortune, the divine wisdom, the ability to create, to think, to speak freely, to pray and worship and disagree out loud…there is much to be thankful for no matter what situation I find myself in.

There are no bombs being dropped on our soil.
There is no earthquake, hurricane or tsunami ripping through our city.
There is no bloodshed over religious beliefs.
There are no epidemics of starvation and disease here.
There is no dictator holding us down.
We are not being tortured and pummeled by dissidents.
We have such an abundance here, and a lot to be grateful for.

By pulling back our challenges and learning to work through them, breathe through them and keep going, we are building endurance. This is how we build strength. This is how we are able to take on more--for ourselves, and for others. Learning to rest in motion, and keep going, builds stamina.

With that, I ran all the way back, stopping once at the red light, remembering to say my new mantra,

"This is a break, remember to say Thanks."

Thank you.

And then, I ran past my turn off point without even realizing it. Oops.

1 comment:

Suzy said...

Really insightful post. You certainly point out a different kind of perspective where we are almost forced to slow down and stew awhile in our own juices, hopefully making us stop, take a breather and just think. Otherwise we would just keep going and spinning our wheels.
Great writing Tanya. Fantastic reflections.