The past few days, I’ve been celebrating learning how to run again after about a month off, including surgery on January 21st. I have had a series of short, barefoot, giddy runs that have left me wondering why some people don’t run. And on the other hand, I saw a runner that have left me wondering why some do. During my brief, restorative runs, I have felt so completely free that I theorized that perhaps I am actually becoming more bound. More bound to the sport, more bound to the love of running, more bound to the earth and its healing qualities, and most importantly, more bound to myself.
Admittedly, I struggle with resting and allowing my body to heal. The thing is, while I was sitting around doing all that healing stuff, my mind was lacking its usual outlet, which of course, is running. All that sitting around can do funny things to a person, and that’s why I decided to head out the door and try to find some peace and quiet for my mind, which was consequently running amok.
So, I started with walking, which I did for a couple of days. The next day, I walked again with Mike and was able to run four times for about 1 minute each time. Now, I don’t mean really running exactly, more of a funny little skip/waddle combo that felt just perfect with the healing incisions in my belly. Not to mention, I looked good, which is what really matters. A few days later, I was up to my gentle skip/waddle for up to a half mile, which I did a couple of times, and I was starting to resemble a wannabe runner. Two days ago however, I had a real breakthrough. I put on real running clothes, including my brand new huaraches, courtesy of www.earthrunners.com. Thank you Earth Runners! I will do a review of these guys once I’ve had more experience with them, but in the meantime, check out their website and what they have to offer. I had a great first impression.
Anyway, I went out for a run, and decided to start out very slowly, go until it felt right, then go back. I gently plugged along for about a mile, then decided to turn around. I took off the Earth Runners because I wanted to really feel the ground, and continued along barefoot. I was going REALLY slow. And I felt REALLY good. Nothing hurt, and my body felt like it was drinking in the gentle movement and energy I was collecting along the way. Afterall, that’s what healing is all about! Collecting energy vs. expending energy. Whether I was barefoot or wearing the Earth Runners, I really felt connected, or bound to my surroundings. This is good, Earth Runners nailed that part of it!
Last night, I decided to try that same 2 mile jaunt again, with the same choice in footwear. Half in Earth Runners, half barefoot. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was meant to be running and finding happiness again. Now, I know that recovering from ectopic pregnancy and surgery takes a toll on the whole person. While the people around me have been instrumental in my recovery, it was as if I was in need of an old friend in the way of running outdoors. So on I went last night, again slower than heck, but happy. I was even whistling my new jam, Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie.” Don’t judge me, you know you love that song!
Anyway, I was whistling and shuffling along when I heard chaos behind me. What the… I turned around, and I was about to get passed by another runner! She was stomping towards me, with a look on her face that read, “GET OUT THE WAY!” and she had headphones on, but there wasn’t much point because I could hear her music blasting. It was something I didn’t recognize, but I remember thinking it was hilarious because it was a bubbly, poppy tune with a fast beat. It was a funny paradox because the girl attached to the tunes looked like she would sooner die than try to have a bubbly conversation with me. She actually looked like she might die if she had to take one step around me, so I decided to give her some leeway and hop onto the grass next to the sidewalk so she could charge by. As she passed, I turned and gave her a lopsided smile and a cheerful wave, but she just glared and stampeded on. I wanted to ask her if she was enjoying herself, but I figured she a) couldn’t hear me b) might kill me and c)I already knew the answer.
So, while I was pondering why some people don’t run, I found my answer through Miss I’d Sooner Die. Unfortunately, instead of enjoying ourselves, feeling the chill in the air, experiencing the ground beneath our feet, and drinking in our surroundings, we blast music in our ears, lock our feet up, put on an “eat shit” face and try to barrel through a 3 mile run and hope to experience none of it. Other times, maybe we hop on the treadmill to avoid the elements and put on a TV show and let the machine think for us. My intent is not to criticize these runners, because I have absolute respect for anyone who is getting out there and putting their health first. But, I do think that we’ve become a society that is much more bound to technology and distraction than bound to ourselves and relationships. Relationships involving each other as well as relationships with our surroundings. I’m guilty of this as well, when I’m networking on social media or sitting here on this blog instead of talking with my husband. But taking the time to escape those vices is valuable, and well worth the time.
Running has to be one of the purest forms of exercise, because you really don’t need any equipment. We could even run nude if we weren’t risking getting arrested! Now that would be entertaining… anyway,what was I talking about? Oh, right, running is pure. Yes, so the question is, are you running free? Or are you running bound? Both? And if you’re running bound, what are you bound to? Maybe the best answer is to run free to find yourself bound to your heart, the earth, and your surroundings.