Good-Bye Old Friends

I traveled again this weekend, but this time for both work and pleasure. My husband came with me to Asheville, NC and we left the kids in the capable hands of their grandparents for a few days. I was teaching a workshop on Personal Training for NETA at the Woodfin YMCA. I had a really great group there and it made being away from my kids very bearable. My husband and I had a chance to be alone a few times too which is nice for us. We try to make time to spend together without the kids, but it’s often just a few hours here and there, so two days plus was a unique change and something we haven’t done since the littlest guy arrived last year in June. We stayed with a friend of his and got treated to a night out by another friend who owns a restaurant. If you’re ever within driving distance, please stop by and enjoy one of the most amazing meals of your life! And I’m not just saying that because Mike is a friend; the food blew my husband and I both away and the atmosphere and staff were top notch!

While I was away, as is usually the case, I had little to no time to work on my meditation practice. I found a few minutes on Friday (during my lunch) to practice my Prasarita Padottanasana and to think more about renunciation (vairagya) and my practice (abhyasa). The Day 10 and 11 readings reviewed these concepts further noting that when you are ready to finally let go of something that it feels like a relief because you’ve been doing work up to that point to prepare yourself for that final step. Therefore, it does not feel like a part of you is dying or ending, but rather a birth of a new you. This was prevalent in my life this weekend when I found myself in the middle of an argument. Since allowing myself to let go of my long held grudge, I am finding that I don’t feel the urge to fight about things that will bring me no great resolve….the petty things in life. By focusing on this and incorporating my practice with the mantra I adapted from the Amy Weintraub book, I told myself that I was in control of my emotions and I didn’t get sucked into the argument. I honestly felt no desire to quarrel and was able to just brush the whole thing off and move forward without regret. It filled me with such satisfaction that I felt (as I find many people do when they experience success with one challenge in their life) like I was ready to tackle more and more and more. I started wondering what else I could renounce or let go of and how amazing I could make myself feel without other vices like holding a grudge? Then I reigned in my wild thoughts and remembered that along this journey I need to stay grounded and allow things to happen naturally. Gates notes that if something is a priority, you will find a way to do it. So, I’m waiting for the next big priority to show itself. I don’t want to waste my focus on things that will come and go; whims of change, if you will.

As I say good-bye to these negative feelings, I am also saying good-bye to a pair of old friends….my running shoes:

These guys had had enough beating and had earned themselves approximately 278 workout miles. This does not include all the times I wore the shoes around all day long and during all the activities and teachings for which they were worn. So, over the last 7 1/2 months they have been the real support for helping me get back into things. And remember how I told you I had worn some holes into them…..

Bless those shoes as they now retire to be only worn for yard work and other chores that require a pair of shoes to be sacrificed. Before I left town I found a new pair of friends to share the road with.

My son calls them my watermelon shoes. I realize that my photos are not the best, but I still have a dumb phone and our actual family camera bit the dust back in June. So far they have taught one day of PT workshop and taken me for a short walk with my husband. I’m not getting in as much walking and running as I’d like these last few weeks due to the heat and humidity and travel. But I hope that my new friends are as worth as the old ones of the miles I plan to push on them before the year is out.

This is my first pair of minimalist running shoes (remember me talking about wanting to move toward a barefoot running style? Well I jumped a head a few steps because they were on sale at Omega.). A few things I can tell are different already include the weight of the shoe, the construction is less restricted, and the backs of the shoes come up a little higher so some of my short socks have caused a little bit of rubbing at the first. No matter what, this week these bad boys are hitting the road and I will be back to let you know how my Saucony Virratas (totally sounds like a Sanskrit word, but is Finnish for Flow….that’s yoga-esque all the way!) are holding up. Until then, it’s back to the mat and holding off on “trying to find something more to renounce”.

What things have you been successful at letting go of this year?