Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just Breathe

Breathing. A simple concept. One that happens naturally, without thought. Breathing keeps us alive. Nourishes the cells of our bodies, keeps us conscious. It's basic.

This week I am returning and reminding myself of the basics. Connecting to the simple processes of life, living in that single breath, in and out, living in and for the day, the hour, the minute.

One of the major reasons why I took up running was to deal with anxiety, and it's one of the major reasons I continue to run. Hours on the trail or the road clear my mind like nothing else. The moving meditation releases all the chatter, centers me, connects me to a higher source, evens me out. The taper, which is an important component of marathon training comes at a time when anxiety about the race is at its peak, this coupled with a sudden decrease in my anti-anxiety activity can have a profound mental and emotional impact.

I find myself focusing inward this time around, accepting how I am feeling. I find that when I get in touch with the actual feelings, it is not nearly as scary as I imagined, I'm not nearly as anxious. There's a certain beauty to this stillness, to the cultivated mental state of calm without exertion. I trust that I will be able to tap into the adrenaline, the nerves when the time is right. These days are teaching me that training has effected not only my physical body, but my mental core as well.

Breathing. In and out. This is where I dwell.

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