A few more inches of snow fell on Monday, a welcome if not unusual sight this winter. It takes so much more effort to run through snow before it gets packed down – one mile should really count as two in terms of energy exerted. Too bad the boss of my mileage log doesn’t agree. I should be the boss of my own log, but it’s nice having someone else crunch the numbers.
I do wish my shoes weren’t mesh, but I’m making it work. When my feet tell my mind they’re cold and wet my mind says no they’re not.
My first earnest attempt at a contemplative run didn’t go so well. The run was fantastic, but training the mind at the same time is a lot harder than Buddhist spiritual leader Sakyong Mipham makes it sound.
I blame my feet. They were being such babies.
Feet: She wore thin ankle socks. We’re covered in snow and want to go home.
Mind: You’re warm and dry, I say. Look at the sun and feel the warmth. Look up.
Feet: Oh, wow. Trees! Can we go home now?
Mind: Not if you’re going to be sarcastic.
Feet: It’s melting on us. Can she at least shake out the snow?
Mind: Do you mind? I’m trying to find my breath.
Feet: You know what I could go for besides dry socks? A bowl of drunken noodles. Wouldn’t that be perfect right now?
Mind: Go away.
Feet: We’re turning pruney down here. This can’t be good for us.
Mind: Breathe in. – 1 2 3 4 5 6 – Breath out. Six steps per breath. Is that bad? Am I breathing too shallow?
Feet: What if we get frost bite? Let’s see her walk to Dice for warm mango with coconut sticky rice without us.
Mind: Now I’m holding my breath on purpose. Eight steps per breath, but I’m gasping in between. That’s not right. What was I suppose to be contemplating again?
So in conclusion my feet are wimpy, distracting jerks, and apparently they like Thai food. They’re the kid in class who won’t stop sneaking candy and talking to the one kid trying to pay attention.
After seven years of running consistently, I’m finally trying to crack open what happens on the “good runs” and mine it. This time my feet weren’t having it. Tomorrow I’ll wear better socks and try again.