Getting older is this odd, and magical ordeal that slowly comes over you. You slowly find more grey hairs, your muscles ache in ways you couldn’t imagine and wrinkles can no longer be moisturized by creams. The frontal lobe however, gets stronger. It’s not just developed; that common sense factor, becomes quite strong and secure with each decision that’s made.
It was four months in to the 2017 year when I began running. I was 42 years old. I wasn’t running from anything; I was just running. I ran with a friend, weekly. All this because I put words into action and had to train myself how to breathe for a 5kms stint. Some might say, “bah! 5 kilometres is nothing…” It was a big deal to me. None the less, regardless of training, that running friend became a symbol of what friendships should be in life. A friend is someone who accepts your pace in life and encourages you to push further. That encouragement shouldn’t come through comparison, nor should it come through competition. It just comes. No expectations, no punishments, and no chastising or accusations. Simple.
As we ran weekly, our trust in each other grew, as did my trust in self and stride. I have no idea for her, but I began to notice the simplicity of friendships. Finally at the age of 42/ 43, I learned that friendships were so much more than going out for dinner and catching up. It was quiet support and listening, and telling someone something flat out with no drama. Don’t get me wrong, I have so many beautiful friends who offer this. It is that I, as a grown up was finally getting it… I was having synapses of reality strike in my brain while I was in my “meditation in motion”. As mentioned, I was never good at recognizing things in friendship because I was too busy pleasing. All along, I only had to “just be”. But more than the friendship being true, I was noticing that I had value in myself and was becoming successful at something I never thought I could be. I had created so many excuses to others about running that I began to believe them myself! These two things, working in tandem made me build upon my knowledge. They made me understand the importance of noticing. My blinders built from fear were going. My common sense and strength of self honesty grew. No more bullshit. Truth and acceptance.
As for the meditation in motion… I became more confident in my running; I craved it. I began going out on my own. I was no longer in need of the safety net of friendship. The friendship was there, when I needed it. Now, more than ever I could venture out on my own. Be true to self. Create my canvas, in essence. Then, I could have stories to share. Some runs were better than others. Sometimes, my confidence was so solid, that my pace reflected the feeling solidly. Other times I was so slow and lethargic, I longed for my running mate to be beside me and keep my pace. Analysis would kick in- why was I so slow? Why did a cramp overwhelm me? Ahhhh! Because I failed to drink enough water today, my food intake had too much sugars, my sleep was stressfilled…
You guessed it, old age voices were kicking in… I could hear ancestors in my head. “You need to drink at least 8 cups of water a day”, “Replace those bad sugars with good sugars”, and my favourite “you should read a book or think of what you are grateful for, before you go to bed.” Frontal lobe development had allowed me to be quietly calm. Basically, there’s not been as much room in me for fears. Life needs to be lived.
Then, I had a positive setback. Trips put on hold, altered and then cancelled… A pause if you will, to support our potential growing family. Complications stopped me from running. Health became important for two. But, while that excitement built, older body was not able to hold on, again. Loss came 3 months in. Yet, I’ve noticed my perspective has changed again. With similar natural losses, I once would pine and be crushed. With my gradual strength of self and ability to show people who I am, and not be afraid of that truth- I saw this loss as “it’s not my time… still”. It has been easier to see that natural occurrence happens, and it’s not your fault.
Not long after my “pause”, I’ve began to move (ahem… run) again. Very slowly, surely and with excitement to rebuild. The friends who cheer with me in life, are ready to go again. Still there, never left despite the break… and geared for challenge. Simple. True. Life. Life has become so pleasant and real that, I realized that, as you take breaks or have setbacks… it’s the true friends who allow for your bumps to hit. It’s the true friendships that keep living their own life but always has a fold up chair ready to pop open when you need. Simple. Always prepared.
My point? Get moving. Try new things. Don’t let sadness stay too long. As my running partner said “feel it out, and never feel bad for it. Once you’re done, pick yourself back up again.” Life is out there calling you. Things actually aren’t that complicated. Our over active brain makes things worse than they actually are. Look at art, run, walk, text friends annoyingly, play… play hard. The more you see, the more you’ll realize that life is simple, interconnected and taking care of yourself properly will allow for beauty to grow.
Life is so much easier than we make it sometimes.