Life takes you on some interesting rides. You can never really be sure when the moment you've reached the true peak or true valley until you start flailing down at what seems to be an ever increasing speed, your heart racing, your arms flying- wishing for anything to hold on to that might slow you down, and then before you know it a calming plateau sweeps you into upward motion again.
The inhale and the exhale of life.
From warrior one as your lungs fill and arms lift, weight shifting into your legs.... to warrior two as you exhale and your arms, your heart, your hips open- still remaining soundly balanced in body and in mind... and PAUSE.
The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. I couldn't find enough calm to actually sit myself down and write. Since Mason Dixon I had my predicted withdrawl symptoms from the high provoked by running long distances. I knew it would come, as I've dealt with my "baggage" enough to know its weight and how heavy it can be. I was ready this time, after my 50miler emotionally kicked my butt for 4 weeks, I expected this would be an interesting experience.
I rode the high for 48hrs and then hit the peak and found myself flying down hard and fast. I reached out right away as I knew the very feelings and drama associated with my mood. I stabalized at a low, the support I'd gained was keeping my head above water. Somewhere in here..... the weight of everything outside myself became extreme. There was a holiday.
Holidays mean obligations, places to be, things to do outside the regular comfort of your day to day to stress.... in fact, for most, even a day "OFF." Unfortunately I am skilled at turning restfullness into stressfullness. And I proceeded to overbook my day, cancelling my original plans to meet up with VHTRC for their July 4th run and instead planning a Very early long run on my own (which quickly involved others- thank you to Dave and Keith for the companionship) so that I could meet more obligations and see more people since you only get 1 day off and I love so many people.... It was actually a great day, but certainly not relaxing. Furthermore I was still not recovered from MDLD. My 27mile trail(ish) run was long, hard, and my joints ached.... Enjoying the parade and my friends after took actual effort, though they were ALL awesome and I am very grateful to have been invited to so many places (of which I only actually made it to one....I was in bed before the fireworks went off).
The week moved forward.... the drama came and crashed into my low and I fell to a lower low. I began to shut down, my closest friends had walls thrown up between them and I as I failed to see hope in wearing them down with my irrational sadness.
Despite the awareness, and reason, I could not seem to win the battle. And now it was Vacation... with mom and dad. This is not the place I would share the drama and the stress that followed but it made the rest of my life before the vacation seem quite peaceful. A lesson in the "grass is greener" category... possibly more importantly, a lesson in "You can't fix anyone but yourself" and I had found out, I've done a darn good job of fixing myself.... So I left "vacation" early and proceeded to release the stress from the past 2 weeks in one utterly sickening theatrical evening which I was blessed enough to share with friends who love me enough to forgive me for the performance. And this was ROCK BOTTOM... I took myself there, I forced myself to a turn around because I didn't know how else to start getting back up.....(clearly I still need some work on coping skills.... but one step at a time).
So Garden State Yoga, the studio that offered me the building itself, the community and the teachers, and the educaiton that helped me turn my life from Zero to Hero....haha not really, but it seemed great to write ;). But I did successfully find inner peace and self love and stopped utilizing my eating disorder to deal with my life, which in turn allowed me to function much more highly and to enjoy or, oh dear, even LOVE the things I was already doing... like running. Without yoga there is no Running. The gratitude toward my teachers is deeper than any child to their mother. And here we were, prepping for 12Hours of yoga with those I love to do something good for many who need love. And what a perfect way to climb up from rock bottom.
I managed to ....(as if I did anything) You ALL made me able to reach my necessary goal of $250 (raising $335) within 72 hrs after I agreed to tack on some miles... a marathon as ti turned out 26.2 miles to my yogathon, many many thanks <3.
This came with great fear, this little run/ yoga DAY. For the first time since I began training for ultras, my body and mind was screaming Fatigue. I needed rest. Vacation was hopeful of this, but was an epic failure in that departmnet. So taking on the challenge I'd set for myself.... well, it didnt matter when I remembered that it wasn't about msyelf.....so It worked out... the run was acheiveable one step at time....and the yoga....
12 hrs of gorgeous yogis and yoginis practicing their hearts and souls out on the mat, experiencing different styles of teaching, diffferent teachers and different perspectives. There are hardly words to wrap up the day except Love. The room was filled with a sense of giving, and we all gave everything we had. No one in that room left less than exhuasted mentally, physically and emotionally. Props to Garden state yoga for the amazingly well run first event, raising over $30,000 for Urban Zen, Kula for Karma, and Off the Mat into the World!
Needless to say the day, thought long and challenging, brought everything in my life back into perspective. The reasons I do... everything that I do... and the gratitude I have for having found a way of living, of thinking, that is without judgement, fear or anger that allows you to move through life with natrual ebs and flows of your own breath, your own path. Inhaling every taste of life- taking in ALL that YOU need and exhaling what you don't, letting go of the pressure, the standards and the expectations....Coming back to a place of Wholeness and Health.
And Now somewhere in the middle of a climb I am, as we all are, looking for balance.... a way to stay free flowing. In less than a week I have my 12hr Running with Devil Event in Vernon NJ. I have not yet decided to what level I will push myself this time, but my body gets to choose this battle, not my mind. So I will go and I will toe the start line and I will run until its no longer sensible and then.... I guess we'll find out ;). But I run for fun, because I find nothing when I run.... it is not a means to an end.... it simply is Love. Love is Running and Yoga is Love and None could exist in my world without the other. Sending out some of the excessive "good stuff" from my wonderful weekend to you, because you can never really have too much Love in your life.
Thank you All again, especially Allison and Melissa (my teammates) for a wonderful, revitalizing experience that will help many many others who you many never meet or ever see, but You helped change their lives.