Posts Tagged ‘sanity’

Some days I only run downhill

July 5, 2010

Three or four days a week, I take a jog through my neighborhood. It is a winding, hilly route of about two and a half miles. The homes are red brick and vinyl siding, with a few white stucco renegades quietly at ease with their originality. At the upper end financial scale of middle class, all of the yards are trimmed with tidy gardens and close-cropped grass. Not too many cars zip through those twisting streets, plus there are lots of trees for shade, and friendly people walking their dogs – a pleasant place to live and run.

I don’t particularly care for jogging for it’s own sake. I run because my body and mind require it to stay healthy and sane. Running increases my strength and endurance, keeps my lungs in working order, helps raise that good HDL cholesterol (the one that takes LDL cholesterol back to your liver for reprocessing), and supports my tennis game. Running also helps free my mind to process . . . stuff. I don’t know what I am going to think about when I go to run. I just let whatever “stuff” that is ready to process bubble up and percolate for a while. Everything is better after I have gone for a run.

But I confess, some days I only run on the down hills and walk on the up hills. I don’t always know what days those might be. Sometimes, I think on a 92-degree day or if I feel tired and worn out, that I will be running only on the down hills, but then I find out after the first quarter mile that my body is in sync, my mind is free, and I run the entire way.

Other days, I fully intend to run all the way only to find out that, nope . . . my body and mind want the slower pace. Perhaps they need the time to take better care of themselves. I trust their wisdom and, since I am not training for the Olympics, I let them have their way.

I am beginning to look at life much the same way. Some days, I am rushing around, fighting uphill battles, pushing my body and mind to their limits (and sometimes beyond), and I have to stop and wonder: why? Exactly where am I going?

Beyond the age of fifty, life has become a marathon. Why am I in such a hurry to finish the daily race? My personal internal neighborhood is as stable and clean as the one I run through. It will keep me solidly safe should I choose to stroll through my day taking frequent breaks if I want. My mind likes to take its time wandering through the twisting avenues of my thoughts and ideas as if it wants to get to know each one intimately and become their best friend. Both my body and my mind want the down time to just do nothing. It is a real treat for them when I relax and slowly work my way through learning new knowledge, or a task or skill.

Downhill living.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass