Sometime last winter I started having dreams of running. Which is weird, right, because the only running I’ve done since mandatory gym class in high school has been to catch the bus. But I started having these dreams of running through a mossy old growth forest, running like a deer, running swiftly through dappled green light, sinuous and strong and joyous and free.
I had the dream maybe a half dozen times, waking bemused every time — whose dream am I having, anyway? I’ve never been drawn to athletics, or even that keen on anything physical. The physical things I enjoy are: eating, singing, baths, sleeping… things I’d classify more as sense pleasures than physical activities, ha.
So it took me some time to warm to the idea of running. But the dream was so peristent I started to feel like my body (Brain? Heart? Subconscious?) was trying to tell me something, and that I should listen. So I bought some running shoes.
And now, I’m a runner! Haha!
By which I mean, I go for runs occasionally. I think it’s maybe been five times so far, about 30 minutes each time. My “rules” are that I run for only as long as I can do so without clenching my jaw, as I can keep arms and hands relaxed, my breathing smooth, and nothing hurts. Honestly, that’s not too long. When I notice one of those things beginning to happen, I slow to a walk until I feel like running again, and walk again when it starts to feel like punishment. I stretch a bit. A couple of times I’ve finished up with an all out, heart-pounding sprint, and that’s fun — to throw away moderation and just run like a wild maniac for no reason.
My favourite part of running is practicing a non judgmental binary mind about it: simply, did I do it? Yes/No. No evaluation of how far, how fast, or how long, or in other words how good. I tend to feel with most things that there is a right and proper way to do it, and anything less than that is fucking it up (which really means I am a fuck up). A lot of the inertia I mentioned last post that prevents me from doing more creative things again is rooted here – feeling like perfection/success is the only acceptable outcome (can’t fail if I don’t try, right?). So not getting into a whole lot of self scrutiny about this running thing is pretty refreshing.
Today I ran through Dundurn park, the morning sun shone low and gold through the remaining maple leaves, the sky was crisp cold blue, my hands got too hot. I felt my feet pounding the mud and did not feel at all like a deer.
But I did run, and I didn’t feel like a sack of shit when I cut it short to go home and work in my garden instead, either.