I went on a run today - I know that this week will be hectic, and I can't run on my normal run day on Tuesday. I know if I don't make the time for these runs, I'll go loopy, per my earlier post about not letting myself get all frenzied and out of sorts.
Today, like I've done the past few runs, I tried to bring my mind along with me.
This mostly entails my running after my mind, never quite catching it because while I run, I am grounded and present in a sense - my feet are hitting the pavement and the shock of it is absorbed in my body, and I am aware of every movement, I am aware I am running. My mind, a piece of it, however, isn't always with the rest of me. I have enough of the mind to be attentive to my motion and my running, but the rest of it is just so far away, speeding off down paths I'm not interested in.
I try to bring it back, and sometimes I am successful, but I don't achieve anything much. Mostly, it's a conscious effort to make my mind be with its body. While I'm running on the pavement, this is what my mind does:
Running running running oh that was a chill wind. Oh I ordered those new running pants. How cool that'll be. It'll be cold. I'll need a face mask this year maybe... Maybe I can run... oh look the water is going down the channel I wonder (randomly) for some reason how my friend is doing, the one I haven't seen in 20+ years, wouldn't it be cool if we got to meet up, we could do a yoga camp... wait now I'm daydreaming, I've never done a yoga camp. I haven't even participated in a yoga class in years. I wonder if I should do yoga again, how much? Why does it have to be hot yoga all the time? I own yoga pants! I wonder what you wear at Tai Chi, do yoga pants work, because I think I'm going to that class with my friend who actually lives in this state with me, and okay okay wait, focuuusss...
So then I take my mind and force it back to the moment, the literal moment: I am running on this path I've taken for the past six years... SIX YEARS.. I've been here six years...my boys were so little I remember walking with them when they were in the red wagon... wait back to now, okay the tree leaves are yellow. The creek is moving a bit fast. The wind has a chill. It's fall. It's gorgeous weather. The day is gorgeous. The water is murky but beautiful in it's own way. There's the temporary fencing with the white bags holding it in place because of the flood. Think about the impact of running. Huh. What'dya know, probably need to stretch my left leg a bit. My butt is hurting. How does that always happen? Wait, stop, your mind digresses.
Then it ran away again. As it always does, because my mind, man, it's a fickle thing my mind, and does not like staying with me, but I took the victory of having it attend to me for at least a little while on the run. Then I focused it again, just paying attention only to the moments - the houses I passed, their yards, the trees, the bridge, all of the things I see, feel, hear as they happen.
So while I can't say I ran with the breath, or ran mindfully, I can say that I ran after my mind, and occasionally I caught up with it and we ran together.
I think if I keep at it, my mind and I will get to go on some pretty nice runs together.