’08 is Still Great!

Tuesday marked the mid-point of 2008 and the six-month anniversary of this nook of the Internet I like to call my cyberspot. Riding a high of accomplishing a two-year running goal and a reunion of sorts with myself, I intended to infuse extra positive momentum and great expectations into 2008. From its beginning, In The Distance was a little part of that plan. It’s been even more satisfying and fun than I imagined to record the days here, and I appreciate that a few people have taken time to read and comment.

Looking back to the start of the year, I feel like I have been reborn into an emerging new world of deepening friendship, travel to unfamiliar locations, my first Boston Marathon and ultramarathon distance completed, and fund-raising and professional goals met.

Running-wise, since Boston I’ve barely had a run I was happy with performance- and pace-wise, and races have been mediocre at best in terms of finish time. I won’t pretend I wear such deeply-shaded rose-colored glasses that I’m ignorantly blissful of this, but I believe frustration and self-criticism only compound a slump. After two years of almost singular goal-work and improvement a lull is natural, and I am practicing patience and consistent mileage as I look forward to another growth period. Moving forward at a slightly slower pace is still infinitely preferable to not being able to participate.

I dream of a satisfying effort in a difficult trail 50K in *gulp* two weeks, and switching gears to cover distances faster again this fall. Occasionally I let myself fantasize about moving forward for many more miles, both in one single run and for decades. I will focus on the combination of self-care and a little luck to be so fortunate.

At work, I’ll begin a new position in a few short weeks. Between relocating and teaching three new courses fall semester at a new-to-me college, I anticipate being almost as busy as when I started in the classroom full-time four years earlier. Thankfully, I have those years under my belt to help. Experience has taught me that you can’t begin to know a place without living there, but I am optimistic that I am heading in the right direction both geographically and culturally.

Although it always feels great to get on the mat, my physical yoga practice is probably the least frequent and weakest it has been in half a decade. I am beyond excited to be moving somewhere with several good yoga studios within walking distance instead of an hour’s drive away. On the other hand, I’ve been blessed to experience the mental benefits of regular meditation practice. They are immeasurably helpful during situations that previously would have tested my empathy and admittedly limited patience.

Even with the gifts of yoga and good fortune, I’m far from perfect. That’s not the point. But in case this entry is taking on the tone of a holiday brag letter, suffice to say there are several areas where I currently lack needed discipline and continue to look for answers.

Most importantly of all, I aspire to end 2008 feeling I’ve contributed my best each day, and closer to cherished ones in every sense of the word. My best intentions remain fixed on that.

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