Reflect

The danger of venturing into uncharted waters is not nearly as dangerous as staying on shore, waiting for your boat to come in.”  Charles F. Glassman

If you follow me on any other form of social media, then you already know that I had a birthday last week.  A birthday is like a new year for me…. not really a time to make resolutions, but a time to reflect on what has happened over the last year, and what I hope to achieve in the coming year.  It’s a time to check-in with myself, as well as a time to celebrate me.  I am not at all shy about celebrating myself.

For the past few years, I’ve made sure to take my actual birthday off from work… I think I started that at 40.  I usually plan out what I want to do in advance… what do I want to do during the day… what new restaurant do I want to try…. making reservations a couple of months in advance…. and also just starting to think about my goals for the upcoming year…..

This year, my husband started asking me at least a couple of months before if I had thought about where I want to go… what goals I have…. and I really had no answer.  I told him that other than wanting to surf again during the day (an annual birthday surf tradition I started after surfing for the first time on my 41st birthday), I really didn’t know about the rest… dinner or general life.

During my birthday surf this year, the answer revealed itself.  I use the term “surf” a little loosely…. there is me, a surfboard, a wetsuit, and a couple of times where I catch a short wave amid 100 falls. Every time I go “surfing,” I have such a great time …I promise myself that I’m going to make the time to do it more often, but I usually end up surfing just a couple more times in a summer.  I thoroughly enjoy everything about surfing:  carrying and paddling the board out a little, hurling my body on top of it, looking back at an approaching wave deciding if I may be able trying to catch it, the falls, the short ride …. I love every tumble and fall…. every time the saltwater flushes out my sinuses…. This year I was reminded that the reason I actually enjoy it so much is that I feel most alive when I’m attempting it because it exhausts me, makes me aware of all 5 of my senses, and pushes me out of my comfort zone.

I’m someone who has lived her entire life in the comfort zone.  Taking risks… taking the path without a guarantee… has never been me.  Becoming a runner is one of the first times I stepped out of my comfort zone…. committing to running a marathon when I wasn’t sure if I could do it… and the confidence from that carried into so many different aspects of my life,  changing it for the better.

I realized after my birthday surf that I want to push myself out of my comfort zone again.  I’m not as excited about the New York City Marathon this coming November as I was about running LA.  I already know that if I put in the training and do those long miles, I’m going to be fine.  I want to try new things…. try the aerial yoga class that I haven’t made the time for…. maybe actually try to swim in the ocean and see what that feels like before I dismiss triathlons as “something that doesn’t interest me”… I don’t want to try things that are risky, but I want to try things that are new…. things that I may very well go into knowing that the likelihood of “failing” by my old traditional definition is high…. Running has given me the gift of the confidence I needed to redefine “failure”… Now the only definition of failure that I know is failing to try anything that I’m in any way curious about.

Since we last sat together, I’ve been going to the track and working on speed some, I’ve been going to Orange Theory Fitness and actually enjoying the strength training and sprinting intervals on their treadmills.  I did an official 10K just to have a baseline 10K time (58 minutes and 57 seconds post 5 hours of sleep and 3 glasses of wine), and then I’ve also just been doing my regular yoga and my 3 – 5 runs a week to maintain my 10 mile base as I start to build my mileage back up for NYC marathon in less than 4 months.

Interestingly, as I’ve spent more time at the track and Orange Theory for my runs, I’ve had less time to “meditate” on my runs….so I just also signed up for the free 21 day mediation from Chopra and Oprah thanks to a little reminder from Jake.  My life has been so incredibly busy recently that I haven’t had time to sit down and think…. or to write…. and so while traditional meditation has never interested me before, I want to give this 21 day program a try….  If I stop it after 3 days I won’t have failed…. Failing would be being curious about it and not giving it a shot.

And lastly as for writing…. I haven’t been very inspired to write… Part of it is definitely just that I have been very busy…the more I have been living, the less time I’ve had for writing…. but I think that most of it is because since I started this blog in January of 2015, the story of how I have evolved because of running has been told…. but as I continue to evolve and reflect, I’m grateful for this little space that is public yet feels very intimate, where I can just put my thoughts down and share my life on the run.

****As I have less time to write, I do share more of my life on the run on my Instagram.  Also, I wrote a piece for Women’s Running on the Orlando shooting that is more in the style of what I write on my blog and was definitely inspired writing that flowed out of me without thought, so if you didn’t read that, you would probably enjoy it:  A Runner Shares Her Reaction To The Orlando Tragedy.

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This is a picture I had taken mid-run in Barcelona…. I had initially cropped out the bottom of the picture and put only the top on my Instagram….. Just recently when I went to delete the picture from my phone camera, I noticed my reflection in the water on the floor….. A reminder that it is sometimes good to look back and really take the time to notice.

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The picture I originally posted on my Instagram, cutting off my reflection because I didn’t notice it.

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Birthday surf – July 8th; ringing in 43

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At the Red, White, and Blue 10K on the 4th of July

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Take a little time to reflect today

 

 

About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

24 comments on “Reflect

  1. I absolutely love how you celebrate birthdays because I go full force as well! Once again HAPPY BIRTHDAY and, my favorite part about this piece? You have opened the door to try a triathlon!!!! I’m taking that and running with it (pun intended) and maybe someday I will have the courage to surf in the ocean!

    • Listening to your podcast on dizruns is actually the first time I had a little hm…. I would do a mini-one if I had another first timer friend who wanted to try it with me…. will see what happens (and thanks for giving Denny my name)

  2. As I entered my 40’s, I started to feel more comfortable trying new things and putting myself out there more. I was (and sometimes still am) the person who stays in her comfort zone quite a bit bc well it’s comfortable. I may need to check out the 21 day meditation-that would be new to me for sure.

    • Great… I hope you enjoy the Orlando post.. of course I write that piece and it is the least shared of everything I’ve written for them (85 shares) vs writing about Orange Theory (4400 shares), but I guess that is what happens when you write for a running website. Still, I’m happy that as soon as I sent it to them, they published it that day without changing anything… they were willing to put out something a little political and that’s why I love WR. Today was day 3 on the meditation, and the centering thought was “I always have access to my inner creativity.” I’m officially obsessed with that sentence.

    • Thank you Jessica! I really appreciate the feedback. I’m going to do my best to get my thoughts down here once a month at least. Thanks for following along.

    • Thank you Dee… I’m going to try my best to do at least once a month! A little something happened after this post that makes me realize how important it is for me to sit down and write sometimes…. perhaps I’ll write about that another time.

  3. I usually have so much to comment on, but I will leave you with something short and sweet… like me… hahahaha! Kidding aside…

    Living life is what happens when you’re not on social media.

    • Very true indeed…. but then social media has actually somehow lead to some pretty amazing connections for me…. for example, two readers of this blog I don’t know doing their first marathon soon because of this blog… Some other examples of people reading and then getting something about me and opening a line of conversation that would not have otherwise happened… It is hard to find the balance.

  4. Is it wrong for me to be excited that you are doing the 21 day meditation as well? And like you, I’m trying to figure out what is next for me (once I recover from this PF). I could do another marathon and chalk it up to an adventure. I’m not sure if I want to do that, tho. I’m liking where this yoga journey is taking me too…

    • Yes…the meditation is really interesting… just taking a few minutes to sit and slow down…. I’m wondering myself if after NYC marathon I will want to do another or not…. we’ll see.

  5. I love that you continue to reflect and share your beautiful writing. I highly recommend vipasana (‘insight’ in Pali, the language of the Buddha) meditation for everyone. Meditation is being in the moment without judgement. I have been practicing and reading about it for over ten year, cannot imagine my life without it, and will continue it until I die. Like an instrument, it takes a life of practice. And with practice, you will see that your heart will open and in your consciousness there will be more room for creativity and insight. You will enter a space of equanimity, understanding and wisdom, a space in without aversion and without striving and see the root of everything. If you embrace your life with radical acceptance (quoting ‘Radical Acceptance’ from Tara Brach) you will see that the boundary by which you embrace life, simply as it is, with love, compassion, and understanding, this is the boundary to your freedom. Whereas yoga and mantras are more a constructive form of meditation, sitting meditation is more deconstructive and both are types of meditation that help elucidate the layers of our conditioning and suffering and help us to become free from this universal suffering to reveal the inner gold, the bodhisattva, within us all. Meditation is about the attention and intention you bring and can be performed while sitting, running, yoga, eating, etc. I am very excited you are investigating this!!! It is a very personal journey.

    • Thanks for your recommendation…. So far I am about 9 days into the meditation… I’m going to complete the 21 day program and then see if it is something that I want to continue or not… I’m definitely enjoying more now than I did the first couple of days…

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