And so, that weekend (which also happened to be the weekend I celebrated my "real" birthday), I spent the day with many friends enjoying a variety of activities, including, of course, running!
This fine trio of Karen, Jason and Carla spent 45 minutes with me enjoying the river pathways, under a bright blue sky and sun shine. Karen had baked some muffins which we enjoyed after the run.
The rest of the day was also filled with many activities, laughs and good times. I am so thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life.
It makes me sad to think that I may have to leave all this, and the many people who are near and dear to my heart, just to find a job. That is a reality I have been trying to face as I apply for jobs in the U.S. I haven't even started to look in other countries yet, but it is coming, I'm sure.
I am trying to focus more on the possibilities of good things that I do not yet know exist and be open to the adventure of it all. But I am not so easy to uproot, I must confess.
I'm sure I'll find my way eventually. One step at a time, as always...
And speaking of steps, running has been super as of late. The long runs are getting easier and the short runs are getting a bit faster. I've been running for 2 years now and I feel like I'm starting to find my legs.
That probably sounds strange, doesn't it? I've been experimenting over the past few months with my form. I experiment with how I plant my foot when I land, trying to be lighter on my feet, trying to increase my cadence and decrease my upper body movement. The results have been a few aches and pains, a mildly tweaked hamstring for a few days, but overall, a joy in discovering new ways of running. My speed seems a little faster and in general, things feel less "clunky". I am learning to tap into the power of my legs to move me forward.
I'm not exactly sure what I was doing before, since running is all about legs and feet to start with. I just know it feels a bit different now. It is still hard work, but less... struggle, at least in a physical sense.
Something Leslie said about trail running after the Death Race has stuck with me. She talked about dancing over the tree roots and rocks. I have thought about the dancing analogy a lot and have tried to incorporate lightness and playfulness into my running. It has helped! There is more joy and less struggle now.
With the snow and ice on the ground now, I dance around patches of ice on the sidewalks and pathways. I think about all parts of my body moving in synch, with my steps offering a rhythm to move me forward. Sometimes I speed up. Sometimes I slow down. However it happens, it feels light and free!
These days I am depending on my legs for that feeling of lightness and freedom. It helps to keep my soul at peace as I find my way into unchartered territory.