For the past few months, I’ve been training for a half-marathon. I’m finally in the last week of my training and I’m looking forward to getting out on the course with the other 25,000 runners. Growing up, I never ran. As a matter of fact, I didn’t start running until I was in college. I like to say I took up running to “relieve stress,” but to be honest, I took it up to avoid studying! Plus, I had a few extra freshmen-15 pounds that unfortunately lasted WAY past my freshmen year. But once I started running, I found that I couldn’t stop. I actually REALLY enjoyed running.
Actually, I don’t know if I can officially call what I do as “running,” it’s more like, “jogging.” I guess technically some people would call it running, but when I compare the time it takes me to run a mile versus some of my running friends, they are way out of my league. But I’m ok with that, because what I’ve realized is that running for me isn’t how fast I run or how far, but how I feel after a run. If you have never experienced a runners high, it’s hard to explain, but you truly get this overwhelming feeling of happiness and contentment.
I’ve gone through many different variations of running over the years: I’ve run in the rain, the snow, and 100 degree heat. I’ve run pushing a baby stroller, and I’ve run with music blaring in my ears. But over the years, I’ve found that my absolute favorite way to run is in silence: just me, myself and my thoughts. Why? It allows me to think. It allows me to problem-solve. It allows me to laugh. It allows me to cry. It allows me to meditate. That’s right…meditate.
I actually looked up the definition of meditation and found the following, “Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.”
I bet it never donned on you that you could actually meditate while you are running, but if you think about when you run without any music and just focus on your breath, the sound of your feet hitting the pavement, or just the trail that lies ahead, it truly is the perfect way to meditate.
So if you are a runner, next time you go out, leave the headphones behind and focus on your breath or the sound of your feet hitting the pavement and you just might realize that you too can meditate while running! But whatever you do and however you run, enjoy that runners high because as you know it truly is the best feeling in the world!
Until next time…Namaste!