Category: run run run run away

Body integration

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

With rasping breath I sang out a few bars from the theme to Chariots of Fire. I could hear my heart beating in my ears, my legs struggled to keep moving, one step at a time. I could see my doorstep in the distance, as my muscles screamed out in protest. Finally, we arrived at my doorstep. I nearly collapsed on the step but not before giving Chandra a high five.

It was my first 5k, and I made it through. My body was complaining but I was hyped, full of adrenaline and a sense of accomplishment. I could call myself a runner now, at least a recreational one. I don’t love running, but I love the way it makes me feel; as if I could do anything, as if I have control over my body.

This from the girl who was allowed to run half as many laps in gr. 5 gym because her teacher was tired of waiting for her to finish after everyone else.

Since then I’ve become a bit addicted to the feeling of running. My days are so much better when I run. I’ll never be a natural runner, it’s a struggle still for me to get to 5k. But it keeps me more fit and healthy, and most importantly happier. Alive. Present. Connected to my body.

Insert Chariots of Fire theme here

I am not a sporty person.

I’ve played sports in my life - about 10 years of soccer, 5 years of basketball and I was once on the school touch football team. But quite frankly, I am one of the laziest people I know. I don’t mind playing a game, but I’m not big on practices where they have you run around fields, do “suicides” or run through cones.

Therefore, I certainly have never enjoyed running for the sake of running. I mean, it’s one thing to run after a ball, it’s another to run in endless circles, right?

Over the last few years, I’ve been watching a lot of my friends and family fall into some sort of exercise routine - whether it’s running or going to the gym or something else. I was jealous of the results they were getting - you look better and you feel better - and I tried my hand at nearly everything. I spent two months going to the gym four times a week before I went to the Dominican four years ago. Unfortunately, I then got food poisoning and quickly stopped working out. I tried running, I made playlists and plans and I even made a running pact with my friend. But none of it ever stuck, and I had decided that me + exercise was just not meant to be.

My friend Chandra is a runner. It’s one of the first things I learned about her when we met back in September. She explored a lot of Newcastle while running in the morning. She also got to order dessert because she was already working off the calories. Tempting.

Finally, right before Christmas, I broke down and asked her if she wanted to train me. Just to see how it went. I wanted to be in better shape for traveling. I wanted to be able to order dessert in all the countries I visited. But most of all, I wanted some consistency to my schedule. As an MArts student, I usually only have class for about 2-4 hours a week. And seldom before 11am. So I spent a lot of time last semester staying up late and sleeping in. To the point where I would spend most of the daytime asleep or “waking up” and I wouldn’t start doing anything until the evening. Which is tricky because in England everything closes by 7 at the latest.

In January, fresh off the plane from Egypt and suffering from a horrible cold, I dragged myself out of bed at 9am for the first time to go running with Chandra. She showed up at my door, all bouncy and chipper, and we ran. For two minutes intervals, five times. And I barely survived it.

We have been running three or four times a week since then. I honestly don’t know how it happened, but I’ve actually become a runner.

Today, I ran 5 kilometers for the first time ever.

I actually sang the Chariots of Fire song as we ran. We’ll be up to 10K by May, and we’re currently looking for a 5k charity run to do this spring. I can’t say I love running, because I’m usually quite miserable as we do it. But I love being outside in the morning with Chandra. I love that I actually feel better and more energetic all the time. And let’s face it… I don’t have a scale, but I love the way it’s changed my body, while I continue to eat whatever the hell I want!

Just hold “A”

In an effort to get more in shape, I started running today. My friend Tariq and I have decided we’ll try to run every Tuesday and Thursday night. We ran a few times last summer, usually just around the neighbourhood. But since I’m in such horrible shape right now, we decided to go to the track at my old high school instead.

Tariq is in much better shape than me, so he sort of “led” the activity. We stretched between each lap. After two laps, I thought my muscles were doing okay… I stood up and took two steps to start running, screamed and fell over. Tariq turned back to stare at me, baffled.

The muscles in both of my thighs had seized up at the exact same time. It hurt like a bitch. The teenagers playing soccer nearby were giving us weird looks.

We ended up doing four very slow laps of the track. I think I’m really going to hurt tomorrow…

And before this turns into a boring fitness blog, I have to say… Running is a whole lot easier  when you just have to press and hold the “A” button.

black bird fly into the light of the dark black night…

I just went for a run (I decided I’m not a morning person and just should stop trying to force myself to be).

It felt really good. I ran until my lungs hurt and my head pounded and my legs felt like jelly (which sadly is not very far.. haha). And it was so… good. To be free. To be fast. To be… alone in the night with just my music (and my cellphone.. even Barrhaven isn’t completely safe late at night).

To feel alive.

you were only waiting for this moment to be free…