Running To The Shift

Pushing past the limits in our minds can be a daunting task at times. When I began the life shift, I knew one thing was for sure…I wouldn’t do was run. Yes! I was absolutely clear that was one thing I would never do no matter what. You see, the last time I run, was in my third year in high school when I used to be on the cross country team. It is hard for some to believe but yes, once upon a time I ran cross country and I was good.

Today marks fifteen months and twenty one days since we began the work of shifting my life and I can say without blinking that the best days are ahead of me. Several months ago, I tried adding jogging to my routine and stopped after a few steps because of pain in my chest and left ankle. It was hilarious how quickly I stopped when I remembered how much trouble I have had with my left leg. Somehow it is the one I have injured most. In 2017 I twisted the ankle twice between Jan 30th and Feb 28th then I dropped a pallet on my first toe in late November only to severely twist the angle again in Feb 2018 that I had to change my workout.

I promised myself that I would never do high impact exercise.

As I watched myself, I realised balance was a challenge as I started walking because of my left ankle. Many roads in my neighbourhood are murram and I often slipped on the uneven gradient and on little stones. It was tempting to stop all activity but something in me would not let go. I remember telling coach I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do many exercises and he simply said,

‘Do what you can for now and grow the range slowly. ‘

So I started walking and have reached three to six kilometres at least five days a week for about six months. Recently, my body begun asking for more intensity. I don’t do the gym so the only option right now is to add running…terror!!! What fascinated me is how easily my mind moved from terror to ok, let’s do this. Simple sign that I had grown. Oh I loved it.

Photo by Aditya Aiyar on

I realised I won’t wake up running so I started with intervals of alternating a three hundred metre jog and walk until I covered the daily distance. In time, the walking distance is shortening and the jogging increasing. I have learnt to keep a set pace for a set distance and gradually increase the pace. Initially I kept to the routes that are tarmac but I have added the gravel roads closer to my home because there is less traffic and fewer distractions that allows me to really focus on the task.

I now understand that my life is school and school gets incrementally harder. I now see every session as a class and look for something to learn that will lead to permanent shifts. It is intense because there’s lots of processing as I zone into the jogging. Sometimes insight comes through during the hardest sections of the run. It is as if my mind fires on all cylinders when my body is pushing itself beyond its comfort zone. This is the most unexpected class and I love the lessons.

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