On Running & Rest
I recently began running again. I had been running pretty consistently until I got pregnant with my third child and was too ill those first five months to continue. That was four years ago! I never thought I’d stay away for as long as I did. But one thing after another prevented me from picking it back up. This spring, I decided it was time to get back in the running game!
Wanting to run and running are two entirely different things. I was not surprised by my total lack of endurance, but I did find myself discouraged, thinking of how easy running had been four years ago. Not only could I run very little at first, but every second of it felt ridiculously hard. But I knew from back in those days that if I just kept trying, I could go a little further and a little faster every day. And soon enough I’d be feeling the ease and satisfaction from running once again.
But then, about four weeks into things, a minor surgical procedure left me unable to run for a couple of weeks. I panicked! How could I possibly progress if I wasn’t running? I worried that I was going to lose everything I had worked so unbelievably hard to gain. I worried that I would, once again, have to begin at square one.
After two weeks, I hit the road again, armed with some new music on my mp3 player and a fierce determination in my heart. No one was more surprised than I to find that I could run farther and with more ease than I had been running. Instead of feeling, as I feared, that I would be starting over at square one, I felt as if my two weeks of rest had helped me move forward towards my goals.
As it turned out, at the time, pushing harder and harder wasn’t what my body had been needing to improve my running. My body had been needing gentleness and rest. How often in life, both with our bodies and ourselves, do we see the only way to achieve our goals is by pushing harder and doing more? It’s always been my natural tendency to do just that. Now, I will remember this great and poignant lesson that my body has taught me and start to value rest and relaxation as vital tools on the road to success.
See more from Everyday Storyteller –Maegan Beishline here.