Quiet and Chaos: Embracing the Ordinary on MLK Day

Transitions are never easy. New city, new home, new job. No matter what’s changed in your life, these inevitable shifts can uproot us entirely, leaving us feeling ungrounded, unstable and unsound.

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Yea, I said it.

Running has long been my escape from all this inner chatter and commotion. When I feel stressed, I run it out; when I can’t think, I run it out; when I’m unbalanced, I run it out.

I’ve made a conscious effort to squeeze in near-daily workouts since starting my new job. A couple of weeks ago, during that much-anticipated first Monday back in the office, I banged out four 5-mile runs, each around the lower loop of Central Park — otherwise known as that place just north of my apartment that I call my second home —Β in a five day period.

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Because I ran over 20 miles that week, and because I’m supposed to be alternating between difficult, moderate and easy weeks of running, this past week, it was back to easy. On the schedule: a couple of shorter, 3-4 mile runs (on cloudy, icky days at that) peppered with living room workouts alongside my yoga mat, YouTube, and of course, Matt Lauer.

On Friday, I was craving 5 miles around the lower loop, and so I raced out of my apartment at the sound of my alarm with a sense of enthusiasm I haven’t been able to muster in quite some time. New York City was perfect as ever; the sun rising and peaking through the buildings was magnificent as ever.

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Still, I found myself struggling as I hit miles 3, 4 and 5.

In terms of endurance, I am not in the same shape I was last year at this time, after running my second half marathon and contemplating my third. This is something I’m growing to accept more and more. I’m thinking about how I can change this, but given the fact that I’m pretty much uninterested in races because of my (not injured, but easily re-injure-able) shin, I’m not entirely sure how to do it. I guess I’ll figure it out.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. First thing’s first. Hello from my couch on this lovely holiday morning.

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I can’t remember the last time I had a Monday off or a long weekend when I didn’t capitalize on the opportunity to go away. There’s something really nice about just using these extra 24 hours to chill, though, isn’t there? Typically I’d go skiing down some mountain I’m unable to fly down (I’m still on the bunny hill here, folks). Typically, I’d sit poolside at my grandparent’s winter residence in Boca — I mean, Boynton Beach.

Spring break circa 2009 -- it was crazy! (Re: quiet and filled with seniors)

Spring break circa 2009 – it was crazy! (Re: quiet and filled with seniors)

Today isn’t for traveling, though. It isn’t for exerting energy. After spending the last few years pushing myself to my limits on a constant basis, it isn’t for ambitions that go beyond what I currently feel I am capable of doing — or that I want to do.

I want to be ordinary today — and just for today, if only to quiet my mind and soul.

This weekend, which is still kind of underway I suppose, was exactly what I needed. Flustered on Friday, I spent the last 48 hours eating wonderful, home-cooked meals (stay tuned this week for an amazing recipe for Turkish swordfish steaks and bulgar pilaf)…

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…going to Jivamukti’s Spiritual Warrior class wearing far too much pink (I hadn’t been in too long, and the class was arguably perfect. I flowed, I headstand-ed, and guess what — I sat still during meditation for all of three minutes!)…

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…finally framing and hanging a photo I blew up from this past summer while running around the reservoir (seriously, people, this was taken using an iPhone; I highly recommend creating your own runtography)…

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…sleeping in (in other words, past 7), going to the movies (Django was great, popcorn was totally delicious and not unhealthy at all), and hanging with my family.

Continuing this trend, I’m aiming to spend this coveted day off doing things like “laundry, before the bin overflows — again,” and “catching up with my old roommate.” You know, simple tasks.

And of course, I will run.

Depending on how my shin feels, I’m thinking today could be a day to shoot for more than 5 — because, you know, I have the time. As always, however, I’m gonna feel this one out. For me, it’s not about championing my Monday morning run. It’s far more important to focus on taking the reigns on my body and mind.

  • How were your weekends?
  • Do you have off for MLK?
  • Three words to describe your runs lately — go!Β 
  • Have you ever framed a photo you took while running?
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One thought on “Quiet and Chaos: Embracing the Ordinary on MLK Day

  1. I love the idea of framing a run photo! I’ve gotten some gorgeous ones at sunset and sunrise when running around the Reservoir (that’s definitely the most photogenic part of the park, right?).

    My weekend was mostly good, except for flying overnight back to NYC. Redeyes always mess me up, but I think I’m back to normal today πŸ™‚

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