Yes, that's me! Running the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was awesome and surreal at the same time. To run in such beauty and such majesty, renewed my soul. I've been struggling with my fitness since 2010 - and although I've had some great running moments since, it's never been like pre-2010. Pre-2010 was when I was queen of my running and fitness universe. And running on that South Rim, brought back the same feelings and emotions, and made me want to get back to my pre-2010 fitness.
But to do that, I needed to renew my spirit. I have become more and more caught up in running forums and groups and spend less time actually thinking about, and doing my own running. I am too busy commenting on everyone else's running! That has merit, and is a great thing, but it takes so much time and energy. Pre-2010 me spent time running, gyming and blogging. And that worked so well for me. It's not that I don't enjoy the social interaction, it's that I enjoy it a bit too much. And I spend too much time getting involved in other people's virtual lives.
I love running. Always have, always will. And I was a pretty decent runner before all those surgeries in 2011 and being so sick. The rot which started in 2010, started gripping deeper and deeper, and my running kept slipping further down my list of priorities, until it was just something I needed to do in a day's work, rather than the highlight of my life.
I arranged for a few sessions with a coach to discuss this in 2012. And she told me to redefine what it means "to go for a run". My mind was no longer in the right place to follow the rigid (but enjoyable) schedule I had once done, but I couldn't find a way out of the overwhelming rot taking over my life. And I couldn't understand it. Seven years is a long time to work things out, but cells take 7 years to renew themselves, and I'd like to add, so does one's spirit. It needs 7 years. Or rather, I needed 7 years. And now I am back to where I started, ready to undertake that journey again. This time with the wisdom and understanding and experience of 7 years of struggle and hardship, and lots of tears and frustration!
Running is a funny old beast. I always thought I would not allow it to be the thing that defines me, but it is the thing that makes me happy. And happiness is found in the beauty of running. As the Navajo pray:
In beauty I walk.
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty below me I walk
In beauty all is made whole
In beauty all is restored
In my youth I am aware of it, and
In old age I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail
In beauty it is begun
In beauty it is ended.