Friday, December 05, 2008

Finding my way

On November 27, I turned two. On the same day in 2006 I went for my first, full 30 minute run, after having tried and been sidelined by injuries for over a year. In September 2006 I started on a walk/run program that had me running non-stop for 30 minutes on November 27.

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.


Claire said...

Ah Sarah, it is hard to uproot. I know this first hand. But I also know you to be supremely adaptable, adventurous, courageous, and ready to tackle anything. So for you, whatever lies ahead will be grand. I am wishing you well as always, in your searching for the right thing!

ipm said...

moving to the UK was scary, but so liberating in ways that will be with me for life.

don't know if the US will compare, as we're a bit thick down here... :)))

but a move is always interesting!

Backofpack said...

Rob always told me to try and run so no one could hear me - meaning light footed. Kind of like your dancing, only not so poetic! It sounds like you are having fun and finding that real joy of running. Keep it going! And...Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia - all nice places with nice people! You could settle in Puyallup and commute - that way you'd have great new friends right away.

Atrusni said...

So that is what happens after two years of running hu??. I have one year running that I celebrated this last November, and I still do not feel those details you mention on your blog!!. Interesting, those tips may help me with my knee injury!

robtherunner said...

I love to dance over the roots and rocks as well. Trail running reminds me of my childhood jumping over branches and speeding around corners. I am glad to hear that you are finding the joy as well. It's good to experiment with form and find your feet. Oh yeah, and I agree with Michelle's choices about great places to live. We know it's a little more complicated than that, but we can hope and pray for you/us.

Alexandra said...

You have come a long way with your running in such s short time frame. That's what happens with dedication and determination. And so too, just like the successes you are having with your running and making friends, you will experience the same when you venture elsewhere to pursue your career. What an exciting time you have ahead of you!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

happy birthday :)

dancing...i love to think of running as dancing...

and good luck in your job search!!