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1 0 Posts in Motivation
March 1, 2013

Can You Learn to Fly?

Can You Learn to Fly?

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. 

~Friedrich Nietzsche

IMG_1377On the short list of reasons why I chose to take up running was a growing fascination I had with runner’s high. Try this experiment at home: poll runners – ones you know, random ones you encounter – about why they run. Almost all of them will describe some version of runner’s high for you.  Watch them carefully when they do. See the dreamy smile they get, the sort of glossy look in their eyes. For a moment, they might seem like they have wandered off to some alternate reality that is much better than wherever they might actually be with you.

When I first started to run, I expected that runner’s high would be one of the more immediate perks – one of the things I would get as a benefit if you will to keep me going. I ran. I waited. I ran. I waited. Maybe I was missing it??? I asked some more experienced runners and was assured that I would definitely not miss runner’s high.

Continue reading…

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February 28, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

Excuses, Excuses

It seems like the older I get and the longer I engage in an activity, the more excuses I can find to not do the activity.

This morning it was cold. If you are not a native Californian, please feel free to laugh now. I am sure it was not actually less than 50 degrees outside. But as I contemplated getting dressed for a run…well…I did feel cold.

There can always be something in the way. Cold, Tired. Sick. Stressed. Too much work. Too much laundry. Too many meetings. My life, wonderful as it is, is full of things, big and small, that can stand in the way of a run. Or sleep. Or 10 minutes to just sit and be quiet. Continue reading…

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May 14, 2012

Races with Girlfriends

Races with Girlfriends

Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.

Oprah Winfrey

So much has changed for me in 11 months of running that it’s hard to wrap my mind around it.

If you had ever ever told me I would even think of entering a race – even months after I started running I might have called you silly to your face. When I first started running, people constantly asked me what I was training for. I quickly realized that this is common conversation between runners – many of whom run (at least in part) so that they can participate in races.

This was a conversation that happened the other day when I was running with a friend. I was a hot day and we were stopped on the side of the path at a drinking fountain. Another runner – I think she was from South Africa – stopped about the same time.

My friend: Hot day, huh?

Other runner: Oh yes!

My friend: Are you out here training for something?

Other runner: Not at the moment…(pause)…but there is always something to train for right!

And she flashes a happy, sweaty smile and takes off. Continue reading…

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April 22, 2012

Feels Like Flying and…Oh…

Feels Like Flying and…Oh…

Since I took up running in June of 2011, I have been fascinated with the experience of “runner’s high.” When I was first looking at making a commitment to running, the question I posed to many runners was “how long did you have to run before you experienced this magical thing?” – I never once got an answer of less than a year. Most in fact, seemed to agree that you would have to run for a while and you would have to run often. As I have run longer and more often, I think I have had glimpses of this self-induced state-experience. But I am not sure. My real runner friends assure me that I won’t mistake it when it happens. Ok. So I asked a few of them if they would be willing to describe their experience of runner’s high such that a novice like me might be able to better be able to identify the feeling when it strikes. My friend Ted volunteered. Before he sent me this post, he said “I hope you won’t be offended by my analogy…” All I can say is that if it’s really that good it explains why I have heard people say they would give up sex before running. May I also add that this surely motivates me to keep going – how about you?

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes” – Andrew Carnegie

Last week Jacqueline and I were running at a very reasonable pace along the beach, and on the return portion of our run, I suddenly turned to her and said, “Sorry, but I have to fly.” And with that, I took off with longer strides that somehow felt lighter, a fast pace, and a huge smile on my face. The world had seemingly become more beautiful, and I was feeling wonderful!  After a short while I turned around and ran back to Jacqueline, who was also smiling. Although she encouraged me to keep going, I was still experiencing that “runners’ high,” and wanted to continue our run together.  I tried to explain what I was experiencing, and promised I would blog about it….about this so-called “runners’ high” that so many of us who run just love to experience.

(Really, he did try to explain it, but he was doing better at smiling than talking….) Continue reading…

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April 1, 2012

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

~Kahlil Gibran, from “The Prophet”

Runner Micah True, also know as Caballo Blanco, was found dead in a remote area of the New Mexico wilderness. There are a lot of news pieces about this like this one in the Boulder Daily Camera, so I won’t repeat.

I am far from an ultrarunner, but True’s story – a central part of Christopher McDougall‘s book, Born to Run – is an inspiration that will live on without him forever. I read this book just as I was starting my journey into running in the summer of 2011. For me, part of what I have been hoping to find in running myself is that sense of pure joy that so many experienced runners report as the thing that holds them captive to the art. McDougall expresses this beautifully on behalf of True and all the runners in his book. I am sure that many will write dedications to Micah True this week – but the one that will endure will be the legend created in this book.

I will count myself as one of many left inspired.

Thank you Micah. You ran in places few would dare to tread. I am not cut of that cloth, but here is where I run:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings to All on this Sunday.

Jacqueline

 

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February 21, 2012

Feels Like…

Feels Like…

A lot of people have asked my why I would chose a year – that’s a long time to commit to something that you have never done and you might not like. It was not arbitrary.

I did a lot of research before I started running – not about gear or technique – I wanted to know why runners run. What calls them to do it, why they keep doing it, what pushes them forward, gets them to run and run and run.

Talk to enough runners and you realize that most of them are fanatical about running. Many, I am pretty sure would give up sex before they would give up running if forced to make a choice. When you ask them why they run, you get all kinds of answers that make little sense to non-runners. You especially get various descriptions of “runner’s high” and the dreamy looks that accompany the descriptions always speak louder than words. It’s like talking to someone who just fell in love.

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February 9, 2012

The Meaning of Push

The Meaning of Push

Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable.
~ Leo Rosten

Today, I am home with a sick kid. I am playing doctor-mom, working from my kitchen, trying not be be distracted by the laundry and the unopened mail. There is never a time when there isn’t too much to do.

Today I also decided on a 5k run. It’s warm and sunny here and I thought that a break outside would clear my mind that was feeling pretty slow (think up every two hours with kid with fever and cough…I know some of you have been there).

I don’t know if it was my tired brain, but somehow, barely a third of the way into my run, I just wanted to stop. I slowed my pace, thought about the route ahead, thought about the route back. No choice seemed good.

Then I thought about what it takes to push.

A good push is often what it takes to get something done. Pushes can come in lot of forms – I have seem my kids’ coaches push a child back on the field or into the pool because he somehow knows that if he just gets him out there it will all be fine. I have felt my self pushed by a challenging task or a an obstacle that needs overcoming. It’s funny isn’t it – the way that positive enticements (accomplishment, reward, money, etc) often feel like the carrot we chase, but that a bit of adversity or an obstacle in our path can seem like a slap on the back? Continue reading…

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February 6, 2012

Staying the Course

Staying the Course

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. 
~ William James

I broke my own running record yesterday.

Never mind how far I went or what the prior distance was. I finished the run quietly sitting at my friend Wendy’s kitchen table watching our kids play. It was Sunday morning. Friday night I had returned home very late from Cleveland, Saturday I was up at 5 to prep for each of my boys having separate sports tournaments in a city almost an hour away at different locations. Saturday night one at a slumber party, the other another social event. I was sweaty and tired – my day ahead involved laundry, errands, homework and a Super Bowl party. Monday was starting to look restful.

And quietly, I am smiling to myself because I just accomplished something – something just for me – in the midst of it all. I don’t need to share.

My life sometimes feels like a series of sprints and obstacle courses. I may not be a trained runner, but I am a trained mom, coach, chauffeur, business woman, traveler and friend. I am an endurance athlete in life. Continue reading…

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February 2, 2012

The Limits of Imagination

The Limits of Imagination

Everything you can imagine is real.  ~Pablo Picasso

I have noticed something interesting over the past few weeks. Suddenly – unprovoked – I have had several people suggest LONG runs to me…a 10K, a half-marathon, a full marathon (ultra…anyone?)

I have no idea why.

Maybe I crossed some invisible line after running for 7 months where suddenly the real runners I know are starting to look at me a bit more like I am one of them rather than someone who is going to casually dabble in running before moving on to the next best thing. It’s true – I am taking this pretty seriously – so perhaps that is what they sense?

To myself, however, I still feel a bit like a tourist making a long stay in a foreign country. I can sort of speak enough of the language to get by now, but I am definitely not full immersed in the cultures and ways of the locals. Still, I definitely fit in more now than before…and kind of I like it here in the world of runners for right now and I am not planning on moving on any time soon.

But when they start suggesting things like running farther than twice the distance I have ever run, well, I start to think about getting this first bus out of town. Continue reading…

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January 10, 2012

There’ll Be Days Like This

There’ll be days like this…When you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises; when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape; when your boots will fill with rain, and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment. And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you. Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.
~Sarah Kay

Part of the reason I fell out of the habit of regular exercise a many of years ago was that the number of things that seemed to be standing in my way somehow grew to be big enough that I just couldn’t see how to do it. I have long been a busy person with a full life. At one point I was in medical school and working a job and managing to train 3-6 days a week in martial arts. Later, I was working in private practice, had a part-time consulting business, had a baby, did volunteer work, and still managed to do yoga, go to spin classes and walk in the parks near my home. I can’t exactly recall when it became too much – but it was somewhere after baby number 2, the consulting company taking off into a full-time business, agreeing to chair a health conference and joining a corporate board on the side…

I never stopped exercise wholesale – it just slowly but surely got squeezed out of my life. One day I woke up and I had memberships at a gym and 2 yoga studios and I really wasn’t using them at all.

I had become one of “those” people.

Continue reading…

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