This training update is about goal setting. There is an inherent danger in goal setting, in telling the universe you want to do something. You then have to do it. The bigger the goal, the easier it is to get scared. The bigger the goal, the easier it is to find excuses to back down, quit, or question. The bigger the goal, the more commitment it takes to achieve. Goals can motivate, on one hand, and paralyze on the other.
I have jogged 91.37 miles since January 1 in preparation for my goal of participating in the Flying Pig. They have mainly been short runs of about three miles. I have had several runs where I have gone 5 or more miles. Those long runs have shown me I have a lot of training to do before the first Sunday in May. I have remained true to the wisdom that says consistency in the short runs during training makes all the difference on race day. I am not really concerned with my race time goal. The goal of completing the race in three hours is mainly just a personal benchmark. (If I was more competitive time would matter more, but I like looking at people and trees too much when I run to really worry.) I have about two months left to prepare for the race, so I just have to keep at it. Not achieving the goal is not an option.
I have also taken 17 yoga classes since January 1. The goal of getting back on my mat has stirred up more emotion than I can explain. My hips have opened. My heart has widened. My arms have strengthened. My spine has twisted. My thoughts have cleared. I have cried on my mat as things have shifted. I have made new friends. It has been quite a journey already. It feels nice to have connected yoga with running. They complement each other in deep and meaningful ways. They allow me to connect with my body and spirit. They make me mindful of my breath. They build my physical and emotional strength.
The opportunity to attend a yoga retreat in Bali has presented itself as I have jogged, stretched, and bended. I immediately wanted to go on the retreat when I heard about it at my yoga studio, and started to talk about manifesting the experience. Telling the universe you want to go to Bali is not an easy thing. Arranging the logistics and aligning the desire with the reality of going to the other side of the world has required a real gut check. Both real considerations and manufactured fear have combined to make the decision to go surprisingly difficult. Is there ever a good time to be gone from work? Is there ever enough money? What if something happens and I need the money I spend there for another purpose later on? Am I ready to practice yoga that deeply? These are just a few of the questions that have been swimming in my mind as I have been making the decision to go or not to go. I have quieted the demons. I am going.
Setting the Flying Pig goal has brought both challenge and opportunity to my life already. Having participated in several distance races, I knew my body and mind would grow stronger. I also knew regular yoga practice would create change. I guess I am surprised at the speed of change. Setting the goal, and committing to it, has already altered my conversation with myself. I don’t start from a place of fear or lack, and when fear and lack enter my thoughts I have still been able to move forward. I know change will continue. Bali will bring change. Race preparation will bring change.