Posts Tagged ‘speed’

A little bit uphill

July 3, 2011

Back in July 2010, almost to the day, I wrote about how I sometimes only run downhill when I go jogging. I am perfectly content to use gravity to speed me along and then walk up the next incline to catch my breath.

Here it is a year later and I’ve begun to test my legs and lungs more on the uphills. It is only against resistance that a body grows stronger. If it weren’t for gravity, we would all be sloppy globs of flesh dangling from our bones. Gravity is required for muscle development. Astronauts lose muscle strength during space flights despite weight training exercises.

So, taking the gravity of life’s situations into account, I want to be strong enough to sprint uphill if required. Does that mean, though, that I get to walk the downhills if I choose?

I’ve always run the downhills even if I’ve run the uphills. I take advantage of the chance to move faster, accomplish more in less time when there is less resistance. I’ve not stopped to consider that my body and mind might need the slow, complete resting period of a few blocks of downhill living.

It is silly for me to give 110 percent when life is tough and, when life has its easier moments, still demand a 110 (or more) percent production. Taking the path of least resistance is often exactly what I need. I can be a slacker.


I know life is short and there is SO little time to do what I need and want to do. There are deadlines hovering in the distance like heat waves rising in the desert. My lists of accomplishments do not end. I cannot rest on the bounty of yesterday for it is finite and will not last. I have many, many reasons to keep running.

Except, I feel some days that I am running right past my life.

There might not be any rose bushes for me to stop and smell on the downhills, but how will I know if I don’t walk once in a while?

There will always be uphills to run.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of cycles

May 12, 2011

Last week, I had a birthday. My best friend from high school sent me an e-card that encouraged me to celebrate completing “another trip around the sun.”

All this time, I have been doing nothing more than running around in a big circle. Two circles, actually.

It’s a pretty fast ride. First, the earth is skyrocketing around the sun at about 67,000 miles per hour. Second, our solar system is rotating around the center of the Milky Way galaxy at about 490,000 miles per hour.

At the same, time we are spinning on our axis at about 1,070 miles per hour (although the people at the poles travel slower because their circle is smaller . . . and, no, it does not make you age any slower).

Motion on such a grand scale feels as if I am standing still, yet I am attached and very much a part of these cycles. Motion on a molecular level (my cells dividing, consuming, dying) also feels like I am standing still. I can honestly say that I have never felt my body produce a skin cell.

But I can feel the momentum of one brilliant flash of insight and I am never the same again, no matter how hard I try to go back to me. I am simultaneously more and less than I was the moment before. Some neural energy reached across a synapse and sealed my consciousness to something new . . . something more than I used to be. At the same time, that connection loosens its hold on something I no longer need to be.

The earth is never the same from one day to the next either. The sun has spent energy that it can never recover. Minute by minute, the sun is diminished. I say this, but it would not surprise me if someday we discover that the sun is actually refueling itself. We are just so limited in our human minds that what we cannot conceive must not exist, and that is why we come to many of our erroneous conclusions about our existence.

Back to my point. My cycle of existence is very much a part of, within, connected to, and sustained by the cycles and circles of galaxies and a sun that burns so fiercely, it sustains life 93,000,000 miles away. This immense power has always sustained me and always will. I am changing, evolving, becoming just the same as any star in the universe.

To complicate matters, our Milky Way is zinging its way toward a specific point in the universe. I hope I am ready once we get there.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass