The truth is I haven’t been running. Somewhere between a weekend in Boston, a trip to DC, camping in Shenandoah National park and time on the eastern shore, I just stopped. I had a few great runs during a family vacation in North Carolina, but after that nothing. If I’m honest, I haven’t wanted to run. There it is, I said it.
September arrived with the smell of freshly sharpened pencils in the air and I found myself looking for the newness and fresh start that comes with the beginning of the school year. We had planned to move this month, but with a few big life decisions still unresolved, we’ve decided to stay put for now. It feels a bit like limbo; not fully integrated in or committed to life where we are, but not yet ready to take the next step. What I’m really wishing for is some punctuation – a clear movement from here to there – but I’m learning that is so rarely how life works. Instead, Ryan and I talk and think and wait. In moments of clarity, I can see the uncertain pieces starting to come together. I’m not quite sure where things will end up, but I sense movement and unfolding, sort of like clouds on a windy day. I trust that this process will result in confidence to take the next step.
Until Sunday, I had mistaken my averseness to running for not wanting to be active. That was a mistake. It felt good to admit to myself that I simply do not feel like running right now. There are times to push through and lace up anyways and there are times to let it be. I felt no need to dissect these feelings and I did not allow myself to self-impose any guilt. It is what it is.
I did a quick internal check and inquired as to whether there was anything that I did, in fact, want to do. The answer was yes and so I’ve pursued new forms of movement. I’ve been walking and taking barre classes. I feel strength in a way that differs from a post-run high. Barre classes focus on small movements – little leg lifts and microscopic crunches – undertaken with intention, focus and the hopeful expectation that they are producing results. These teeny tiny movements make my muscles shake almost uncontrollably and at the end of 60 minutes my legs are wobbly and trembling.
Small movements producing results, that’s what I’m focusing on these days. Trying to release the need for a defining moment, a sudden possession of enlightenment, a quick answer on our next step. Right now, there is no clean transition like the first day of school; instead there are small, thoughtful movements and confidence knowing that they will take me where I want to go. Little by little towards strength and stability and clarity and growth.