Dear Yoga and Running,
What can I say? You are my strength, you are my health and wellness pillar. You have seen me through the tough times, the good times, the average days that you’ve turned into the extraordinary. Running? You’ve been something I can’t live without, though even at times, I wonder if I’m made for you. I love you, don’t get me wrong, but there are days in the midst of the running season (which for me is April-November) when I get up in the morning and wonder if my back will ever feel free of at least a minor pain. Be that as it may, there is nothing I love more than to go on a run in the middle of the summer or in a new city on an unfamiliar path or on my favorite beach path up in Ipswich, MA. Running, you have taken me ’round the Charles River for over 20 years. That path has seen my personal growth, which hasn’t always been pretty but has always been necessary. You’ve guided me along the way to my first marathon in 2008 and while we were on the path to the second one in 2009, we got sidelined one week before with kidney stones. Oh well, the training was worth it. You’ve meant so much to me, Running, and I’m not sure I could ever completely give you up.
Yoga, well, what can I say? I wish we had met sooner. I wish I didn’t have to be challenged by two guys I knew to meet you one day 10 years ago and wished I’d wandered in on my own, years earlier. You’ve made me sweat and grow stronger than I have ever been before, with your mysterious mix of bending, stretching, holding, breathing and chanting. You’ve taken me to deep places of stillness that I’ve never before thought were possible to reach on my own; you’ve tapped into a sense of myself that would not have been possible were it not for you. You’ve shown me the path to self-fullfillment and given me the means to reach out to others in a way that is personally rewarding beyond any other vocation I could ever dream up. You’ve forced me to face things about myself that I didn’t want to see. You’ve made me sit still when I’ve wanted to run out of the room. You’ve created a way for me to listen to myself and drown out all the unnecessary noise around me. You’ve shown me the way when I wasn’t sure I could ever find the path again. You’ve allowed me to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made in my past and assured me that as I make continued mistakes, you’ll be there to catch me. You’ve given me balance in my life, both literally and figuratively and shown me that the middle path is the one to walk, when all around me are enticements to stray. You’ve shown me a peace and calm that I’d never otherwise have reached, with the possible exception of a perfect day on the beach. You’ve made the best day in my life better and you’ve given me a foundation that gives me the confidence to head into my future without fear, as I know I will never be alone.
I look forward to continuing to learn as much as I can about you both and in the process, learn a lot more about myself.