Thursday, July 28, 2011

Under Pressure

My focus has tipped off balance because of these long runs. Yesterday I broke my own zen rule and ran "go go gadget girl" with an iPod. I was concerned that my mind would settle in a dark groove on the 26K route yesterday.

The truth is, even with the absurdity of Pierce Brosnan singing in my ears, my imagination did occasionally go to the horrors of last week's events. But maybe that is appropriate. The only sense in such things is the sense we impose on it. How we choose to use it as a guidepost in our own lives: consciously appreciating life.

Appreciating aching tendons and even someone singing off-key in your ear.

Despite it all - the children's voices, the midday heat, the buzz of the iPod - the birds sing, a deer appears the clearing and two foals come to take clover from the outstretched hands of ten year-old boys.

There is a lesson to be learned from their willingness to be vulnerable. A lesson to be learned from the hundreds of slugs who make their way over the gravel paths around the lake, from their soft bodies and the gaping mouths of their single lungs.

No, it's not pretty.

But it is integral to the beautiful whole.

Yesterday I ran three laps around the lake to avoid the territorial swans on the more scenic route. A lost cat hanging out near the golf course seemed overjoyed to see me when I passed the third time. She ran alongside me mewing, then crossed in front of me and nearly tripped me. A healthy tabby with a new collar but no tags. Photogenic little thing, and I figured I could hide her from my dog long enough to get a response from flyers in grocery stores.

I only ran about a kilometer with her purring in my arms before she decided she preferred prowling in the undergrowth to a passive journey with me.

I'll look for her tomorrow, but today is rest and recovery in my compression socks.

I'm often discouraged by all the touting of fitness products under the guise of chatty gossip. I am a compulsive consumer and have been trying hard to revamp my life without buying the revamp. I try to resist the temptation to let my running become another excuse for shopping. But I realized I already have three pair of airplane socks. I figure under pressure is under pressure regardless the packaging.

Do you make a conscious effort to keep your commitment to fitness separate from your consumerist desires/habits?
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  1. That's a good question. I love gadgets and technology, so when I became more serious about running, I knew I wanted a Garmin. Besides that, I have done well to avoid spending much on cute running outfits and more sneakers than I need. It can be difficult though.

  2. I haven't gotten to that point in my running, but I'm a sucker for a cute workout outfit. I try hard to say within my budget.

  3. I'm so much more into gadgets and technology than clothes. If you saw me running, you'd chuckle at some outfits.

    Hope the cat finds a happy home.

  4. It's hard to not think I don't need every little thing out there. Two things keep me in check... one, I'm not rich (haha), and two, I chose running to begin with for the simplicity of it. For the fact that you could put on a pair of shoes and slip out the door. No fancy gear needed. I really try to keep this in mind as I see and read about the latest outfit or the newest gadget. It's like everything. There is someone out there wanting to make a dollar and you just have to find your balance.

  5. I have one pair of Brooks leggings and one tech shirt that I wear almost every run. This is why I rarely run two days in a row :-)

    I've also been wearing the same running shoes since before I got pregnant. With my almost one year old daughter.

    So, I don't think the consumerism has affected me (mainly because most of my $ goes to student loan repayment) but I could see how easily one could get caught up in it.


  6. I am a newbie so right now my iphone and a running program work good for me but I do think of other gadgets a lot but since I am such a new runner I try to think that i have more important things to worry about.

    I do love a certain pair of running shoes so I have an obsession with those and it doesn't help i meet my running club at the running store each week!

    I thinking signing up for races is enough money as is so I that is what I consume when I run!

  7. Thanks for the support on my blog! This new journey is scary for me so the support really helps!

    I just want to say that I love your style of writing. I've read one of your other blogs as well and find it so eloquent.

    To answer your question, I'm a lot like you, I can easily end up combining fitness and consumerism. Right now I'm budget tight until March so I haven't been able to but I've started a wishlist of things I want, such as running socks, tempo shorts, a Garmin, etc.

  8. I'm always inspired when I come here to read your posts, Ren. I'm into the running for the exercise, and just one of these days I hope to complete one marathon in my life, and I'm good.

    Aww, hope you find the kitty! The good thing about cats is that they always are able to take care of themselves.

    For me, when I run, there's no iPod or any other gadget. I love listening to nature and that's a good time when I do most of my thinking. I agree with Courtney when it comes to races, there's enough money involved already even if you're support good causes. In general, I don't make a conscious effort to think about my spending habits as I barely shop (even online or in stores). I just only shop when I need to... like in a few months, I need a new pair of running shoes as I can feel the pavement with all my running this summer. It's long overdue.

  9. Yes. I admit. I'm a go go gadget girl with most things in life and running is no exception. Now that I think about it, I've actually given up my iPod for short runs and trail runs. For long runs it's a must but not until mile 8 or 9.

    Oh and I change my route when needed to avoid geese. They're aggressive fowl!

    Have a great weekend Ren!