Why can’t I seem to get my ass out there and run?

Squealers on the trail.

Squealers on the trail.

I haven’t really run since our return to Germany.  Yes, I have run.  But I seem to have had weeks where I wasn’t able to get more than one run in.  To me running isn’t about one day, it is about this ability to sustain your running over a period of time. It is the ability to find that moment of meditation, that moment of rhythm, that continues to propel you out of bed, day after day.

It has been hard finding a rhythm here.  First there was the move and packing and unpacking.  Then there was the heat and humidity during orientation week.  And now there is the craziness of the first month of school in a new school.

I have too many excuses.  I have too many reasons to keep me off the trail.

But yesterday, I found a moment.  I wasn’t alone.  I walked with 6th grade red-head, while the rest of the adventurers squealed down the path on bikes of varying sizes.  The chatter from my trail-mate hummed in my ear, I was present, but not always listening to every detail.  But what I did get from my fellow traveler was how excited she was to be back in the forest.   It brought back all her memories of camp back home, the woods near her house in Washington, the fun she had with her friends.  She was loving this pause in her busy week.

At some point the 6th grader joined the squealers.  She took the 6-year-old’s bike; Simone had climbed on the back of Papa’s.  And the 7-year-old was upset that she didn’t get to be up front on the trail.  The arguing, laughter, and chatter grew quite as it moved down the trail and I stopped.   I heard the sounds of the forest.  Cicadas were singing over the quiet drone of the autobahn.  Sunlight was filtering through the trees making everything look a bit more mystical and ethereal.  This was the perfect moment.

Light in the trees

Light in the trees

What keeps me from venturing out there?  Nothing but excuses.

As I sit and analyze my conundrum I can’t help but think of Robert Frost.  I love his poetry for all of its pathways, snowy evenings, and birds lighting on trees.  He walked in the woods out of necessity.  He had to get somewhere.  Yet while he was going somewhere he had the time, or the mindset, to observe and appreciate his surroundings.  His poetry is filled with moments, images, and lessons from the trail.  And when I am in the woods, I too see things, hear things, notice things.  It recharges my batteries.

So I guess that is it then…I just need to go out there…”just do it!”  Maybe I shouldn’t strive for 3 runs a week.   Maybe I just need to enjoy the moments I get, rather than beat myself for the moments I let slip away.  Maybe I should just BE in the forest rather than running after a goal….further…..faster.  Maybe I should just strive to get out and enjoy being still.

How do you get yourself out of the slump?  Do you too struggle to keep a running schedule?  Do you struggle to just let yourself run for fun rather than seeking a goal: time, pace, distance?

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