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Saturday, December 4, 2010

meditative slog

I had a super slow run through the Arroyo this week. It was strange. I was so low energy I could barely call it running. Jogging maybe. Although it felt more like speedwalking. Although the word speed shouldn’t be applied here so I’ll call it slogging – slow jogging. To be fair, this was really only perceived slogging – my time for the run was a little on the slow side but not outlandish – 10m/m.

But sometimes it’s really good to slow down. To listen to your body when it wants to go slow. Not that today my body was telling me to go slow. My legs felt fine and my form held through the distance well. I just had no motivation. Some element of the whole was missing. Maybe it was my mind that wanted to go slow.

I was talking about my running habits with a friend last weekend and telling him about my Arroyo route. I mentioned something to him that I’d never really verbalized before: in addition to running in the Arroyo, I tend to Arroyo via a run. In essence, the run being merely a vehicle to accomplish the main activity: being in the Arroyo.

This week that became a bit more apparent. I wasn’t really enjoying my run but still it seemed like the best way to tour the area. A few people down there walking dogs or running or birding and that old ranger guy on his horse (the mellowest beat in town.) Toward the end of my journey down there it hit me that it was totally quiet. I could hear all the birds and crickets and the slight gurgle of the (channelized) creek. Dense green native foliage spilling down the hillsides all around me under the slightly dulled, thin-cloud-smeared blue of the still, heavy sky. I could have been in Bolivia. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could smell Hawaii. It was a moment I’d been missing lately.

And just like with meditation or yoga or chanting or praying or what have you, all that was needed was a simplification from the normal, a simple slog, away from goals and cravings, to slip briefly out of the envelope and recall.

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