Finding “practice” everywhere I go
Since running the Asheville Half Marathon, I’ve gone running twice. My practice of running has been slim compared to pre-race time.
Thankfully, however, I have found no shortage of places and occasions to “practice” running focuses just for the sake of practicing running focuses. It’s pretty fun to make a list of the places/times when you can make seemingly every-day habits into a practice:
- Washing dishes. We eat a lot of of homemade food and tend to dirty lots of dishes. Standing at the kitchen sink is an excellent place to practice: posture, patience, focus.
- Driving to work. I don’t have a very long commute, but for the few miles that I am in the car, I try to notice 3-4 landmarks on my route and make note of their changes: leaves go from green to yellow, cars in the driveway change as tenants come and go, children’s toys cycle through the seasons… even traffic patterns change from day to day.
- Riding a bicycle. It’s been a long time since I got on self-propelled two wheeler. This weekend, we decided to ride 4 miles to downtown to go to the City Farmer’s Market. It was a beautiful day, and made for great cycling. I did notice however, that I was significantly out of practice, and it make me realize what a gift it is that I can be a runner who has a practice of running… so why not have a practice of riding bikes?
Even though I don’t get on bikes very often, instead of feeling badly that I was “out of shape” or couldn’t go terribly fast, I had a really fun moment of realization that riding my bike was just like running: it doesn’t matter the history, the day, the time of year — all that matters is that I am focused on the activity at hand, and observing the experience, feeling the experience, but not judging it.
Approaching every-day activities as a practice instead of a “do” or a goal makes life much more forgiving. Instead of setting yourself up for running goals, try setting your self up for running experiences. That’s what’s important anyway, right? Try it for a day. It’s fun.