I started running again a few weeks ago.
I say again because I used to run at school competitively, so it’s previously been part of my identity.
An aspect of my identity I’ve mostly rejected ever since (besides doing one race in my 20s).
Whenever I tried to bring running back into my life previously, I’d start pounding the pavement as I did back when I was training for cross-country races at school.
The way I breathed, the rhythm of my loping stride, and the tunnel vision I would get to go faster and perform would also sink back in.
I joked about experiencing something akin to post-trauma anytime I tried to run again, and while it was certainly not as serious, it turned me off doing it completely until a recent conversation I had with some friends while away on a biz and writing retreat.
We were talking about our desire to do movement practices we’d previously done, but without letting our bodies TAKE THE SHAPE of HOW we used to do it.
Because it’s when we mold ourselves back into those old shapes, that we begin to revisit those old ways of being that we’ve chosen to no longer inhabit.
So for one friend of mine, it was gym-based workouts and she was actively changing up how that now looked anew and orienting her body to treat it completely differently.
For another friend, it was vigorous yoga and other cardio exercises – and changing it up so her movement of choice was fun and not depleting.
For me – it was running.
So I set about incorporating some of the cutting-edge research I’ve read over the years and am applying it to how I approach running now – and when I tell you it’s completely oriented me to a truly joyous experience – I’m NOT exaggerating.
To give you some top-level details (in case you’re interested), here are some of the measures I have in place to revolutionise my running practice:
– I breathe slowly and deeply through my nose when running (no mouth breathing), taking on James Nestor’s groundbreaking research I read about in his awesome book, Breath.
– I use my earth runner sandals, to run ‘barefoot’ style, earthing myself while incorporating the techniques I learned when I read Born To Run by Christopher McDougall.
– I keep my running gait and posture relaxed and open, and SUPER SLOW to engage my fat-burning stores (a much more effective fuel to burn than sugar) as taught by Stu Mittleman in his book Slow Burn. I mean – so slow that a fast walker could easily overtake me.
– When I run I let myself absorb the details and the expanse of everything around me. I take in all of the beauty and let myself feel deeply embodied with a hugely expansive field at the same time.
– I’m using the Couch to 5k app to condition my feet properly for barefoot running without injury, and allowing myself to incorporate all of Stu’s tips for keeping slow and staying in fat burn mode (I now know what physical signs to look for to keep my heart rate between 114 and 134 beats per minute (my ideal fat burning range) without checking the monitor on my watch.
– I am utterly uninterested in looking good, fast, or overtaking anyone at any time.
And all of these put together have completely oriented me anew to something I thought I’d sworn off for life.
I truly thought that running was just one of those things I was good at as a youngster, but that I’d left in the past along with using a hair crimper and thinking slap-bands were the height of fashion.
And now I’m so excited to do my next run!
The truth is, we can each orient anew to anything we desire at any point.
It may take some learning, some research, and some asking of good questions – but we don’t need to revisit old shapes of ourselves if we don’t want to.
We can take what we love about it, and leave the rest – by making the experience entirely new.
Is there anything in your life you’re ready to orient anew to? In a different, more exciting, and perhaps seductive way?
I hope this inspires you to at least ask the question! Because there’s so much power in considering it.
And follow your curiosity as it leads you to all of the possibilities.
PS Pssssssst, if you’re ready to orient anew to how you do business and life – it’s high time you explore joining my epic Biz Mastermind, The STELLARmind. We’re now open for applications!
But don’t under any circumstances consider this program unless you want some serious energetic up levelling in your life. The magic is real. Head here for details and to chat with me about it!