Saturday, February 15, 2014

Running Mindfully

Mindfulness; focusing on the present, awakening to experience.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad.  Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. (Psychology Today)

Running; both feet off the ground at regular intervals.
Running is a means of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. It is simply defined in athletic terms as a gait in which at regular points during the running cycle both feet are off the ground.(Wikipedia)

Running Mindfully is a state of bliss experienced by runners as they purposefully focus on their heart and breathing as they run in the moment and for the moment. Running mindfully is not a 'runner's high' which is fleeting and occurs with unpredictability.   When running mindfully one becomes overwhelmed with a sense of contentment, happiness, and wellbeing for the duration of the run.(Mike)

This morning I had a blissful 6 mile run along the Forks River Trail where I entered a state of mindfulness. I was tired from the previous week and my mind was chock-full of swirling, disconnected thoughts. It's been cold around these parts lately so the -14 degrees celsius, blue sky, and bright sunshine was a welcome relief. I was looking forward to this run. Actually, I needed this run. I didn't plan the mindfulness; it simply washed over me and cleansed the mind and calmed jagged thoughts. Before long I became wrapped in the the loveliness and the warmth of her embrace. My mind slowed to match the rhythm of her heart, my heart. Beauty resonated all about in the moment.  Still pictures in vivid colour flash before my eyes.

Proud young mothers with infants in tow. Dads skating madly pulling toboggans with exuberant children laughing. Healthy red cheeks. Neon snowsuits.  Endless blue skies. Brilliant white snow. Old folks shuffling with long coats and wooly mittens. Warming huts, yellow and spinning, red and wrapping, offering warmth no less. Smiles and cheery hellos. Teenagers holding hands... love is in the air? Faint hints of spring. And on and on. And beauty and beauty stacked upon beauty, branching towards the heavens. In the end, all we have is beauty.

I run in the present. I am in awe of my strength. I revel in the moment. The crunching of my footsteps. The evenness of my lungs breathing. The power of my heart beating. This run, this magic little run where I shed baggage, weight ...where the present becomes bright blessed moments of beauty. The past forgotten. The future ignored. Just running in the moment.

Running mindfully, it is a good day to be alive.