I am not sure how much I've chronicled this on the blog, but I have taken up hooping. Much like when I started to run it's an activity that just feels right to me, a discovery of a passion that has been untapped for a long, long time. I used to spend hours twirling the hoop around my waist when I was a kid, loving it's rhythm, the circularity of it all, the blend of concentration and mindlessness.
In hooping, around the waist there is a way that feels more comfortable, a favored direction which is the inflow and a more awkward direction which is outflow. Cultivating both is important in hooping -- to achieve balance and strength.
I like the concept of inflow and outflow, as it expands to include many things from the concrete breathing in and out to the broader theory of an essential self and a shadow self. Inflow feels right and natural and it's a satisfying place to rest, while outflow feels different, precarious, it takes more concentration, more exaggerated movements, more risks.
In terms of running, keeping this idea in mind helps me with balance. Believe it or not it is more difficult for my to reign in my distance and/or speed then to expand on it, it's hard for me to take it easy. I feel my prospects of success overall are demonstrated on each run, so I tend to go for the gusto and find myself sorely disappointed when I don't measure up -- this is one of the psychological issues I hope to ease this go round. Inflow and outflow, surrendering to ease and embracing challenge, this will help me to maintain balance in my journey to the finish line and beyond.