High Quality Running
When only present, mindful running counts. Stop when you fall out of presence and start over again when you’re back in the now. Try it and see how far you get.
It’s a running excercise for your mind, just to get a picture of your attention to what you are doing. You can direct your attention to your limbs and movements, but also what measures you need to take in order to run smooth and relaxed. How hard isn’t that? Instead of being engulfed in stiffness you can work with your joints. What about those knees? What about thoose shoulders? Those fingers? The air between them? Your facial expression? The inner smile? The angle of your feet – like airplanes coming in for a perfect landing? And what about that waist? Is it dragging behind again? OK, you get the picture. You probably have plenty to work on before mastering the art of running.
Last night I watched the remake of Karate Kid. Another silly movie I first thought. But when the teacher (Jackie Chan) starts showing the ideas and philosophy of the art of Kung Fu, how to master the movements, I became intrigued and sensed there are many similarities to running. To master the art you need to know and control the movements, relaxed and completely awake while using your senses. Just like Karate Kid learns.
The running Intention is interesting. Many times I have stopped while running because of blurry intentions. Staying in the running momentum isn’t enough. Usually the trail keeps my mind busy, working with the flow. Howcome the trail can give me such joy and such energy? I have asked myself this, and I believe it’s because of the connectedness – the notion that I’m running with nature, that I’m a part of nature, that I’m connected with primitive, animal instincts and abilities. I stop on the trail too. To listen, to rest, to take in it’s naturalness, ugly or beautiful, dark or wet, cold or dry. Trail running is like swimming, where the element touches you senses. That’s how it feels, when I dive into the trees, branches, rocks and shadows.