Raga : clinging to past pleasure and the fear that it will not be experienced again. Manifests as suffering. Letting go of attachment avoids future suffering.
When I read that yesterday, I felt like both the bottom dropped out of my world and a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. At the same time.
I cling to running. I so want it back in my life. I want the earth to move under my feet. I want to move through space with ease. I want achievement and medals. Or that’s what I told myself. Because it was easiest and safest.
More than that, I want the community that running once gave me.
There are a lot of reasons I’m not running regularly right now. My life is full. Time would be a challenge. Distance running takes over your life. I have put on weight and I don’t feel good at it anymore.
The biggest reason, though, is the reason I quit. My body just doesn’t like it. I remember having a conversation with Erin toward the end of my last double-digit run about a year ago. Pretty close to the taper of a marathon that I didn’t want to run. Around mile 16 of an 18-miler.
Erin, I just don’t want to do this.
My body didn’t like it. My body felt punished instead of energized. I could physically do it. But, dammit, I just didn’t want to. It wasn’t fear. It wasn’t end-of-training-cycle exhaustion. It wasn’t that point where you just want to quit training. I realized I had felt that way when I started training.
That was the moment I started getting honest. Honest about my feelings – physically and emotionally – about running.
I didn’t want to do it. Just like I’ll eventually get tired of having the same thing for breakfast every morning. I had my fill. It had run it’s course. I needed a break.
Over the past year, I have fought this truth. I have created training plans. I have set goals. I bought a fancy-pants watch.
I have created hopes and dreams. And I have failed. Repeatedly.
Because they weren’t honest. Because I wasn’t honest about what I wanted. Or why I wanted to run. Or what I had lost that I fear I’ll never feel again.
This is what I lost when I stopped running.
I had a built-in group of friends. I spent probably 10 hours a week with a variety of people. I heard and shared stories. And bugs to the face. We got lost together. We got rained on together. And there were lots and lots of sweaty hugs.
Tuesday night. Wednesday night. Thursday night. Long run Saturday morning. Recovery run and donuts Sunday morning. Common interest. Common challenges. Hugs. Laughter. Love. Just built into my schedule. I knew it would be there.
I lost my community. The community that I built. And there are no words for how much I miss it.
Today, I am working very hard to tease apart the connection I have between being a runner and having community. I am trying to let go of my belief that running is the only way to find community.
I have been operating from a place of fear. A place that believes that running is the only place I can fit in. That running is the only community that there is for me. That running is the only way I can connect with those I love.
And that isn’t true. It was the commonality that got us all in the same place, but it isn’t the only way I can connect with people.
I’m letting go of my attachment to running. I am allowing it to be present – or not present – in a way that feels organic. I am not giving up on myself or my intentions for my health and my relationships. I am just giving myself permission to get there a different way.
And this is both liberating and terrifying.
30 days of intentional quiet starts October 1st. Head over to my coaching home to learn more about Be Still.