Tag Archives: appreciation

Inner Peace, Inner Strength

I believe that as we journey through our lives, our main focus is to find inner peace from our surroundings, situations and selves. A satisfaction and contentment.

And the more we experience in life, the more strength we accumulate, allowing us to discover and understand harmony in any instance that greets us. An acceptance and appreciation.

I don’t believe that this is exclusive to any certain passion. But I do believe that runners take to the roads or head to the trails to find their inner strength and inner peace to make life more enjoyable and to find clarity in a cluttered world.

I find this evident with myself when I compare my mental well being to days that I do run verses days that I do not. The equanimity of every day life seems in balance when I run just an hour out of the 24 that are available each day. The scales are heavily askew on rest days even though 1 out of 24 shouldn’t equate to a balance to begin with.

But that one hour is enough for my soul to feel peaceful and to have the strength to dust myself off when contentment washes over contention from the unpleasantness that sometimes arises in life.

Each run is a journey in itself, congruent to life as a whole. Each run is an opportunity to further develop my inner peace towards myself and the world around me. Each run deepens my strength to hold on to the fact that life is beautiful and frightening at the same time.

The saying that “life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you” is both agreeable and refreshing when viewed post run compared to prior.

I believe my journey of running is my peace of mind towards meaning and fulfillment. Running is my inner peace, my inner strength.

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Impermanence

The more you get to know something, someone or somewhere, a deeper level of intimacy is magnified within. Feelings so pure that gratitude naturally permeates with each lived moment. And the impermanence of those moments make each one unique and incomparable to one another. Acceptance of the impermanent nature of everything is the essence to an astonishingly aware and wondrously well-lived life.

 

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I’m Looking For Some Feedback!

I just wrote a column that I will be submitting to be published in the newspaper I work for. It sounds a lot like a few previous post that I have recently done, but it will be new to the eyes of the readers of my newspaper. I am posting it here to get some feedback and constructive criticism before I do actually submit it.

A quick background. A few weeks ago, a writer did a short article on me. How I ended up in Buffalo, WY, how I ended up at the paper and my love for running. Kind of an introduction of me to the town.

Here’s what I wrote just now and I am open to comments on what everyone thinks and things that would make it better. Thanks in advance for reading and for any help I receive!

If you read our January 8th edition, you might have come across the story Nick Spanos wrote about me called ‘Joey from Georgia.’ If you did read it, you would have learned that I am big into running and that I am training for the Bighorn 100 in June.

The life of a long distance runner boils down to the act of making sacrifices. For it to work out you have to understand that nights out with friends will be limited, you will miss out on the inside jokes that went on a certain night and feel a little left out when you find out that your friends also went to your favorite restaurant without you.

Eight o’clock on a Friday night takes on a whole new meaning.

You might be finishing up your meal at the Bozeman Trail or just ordering your first beer at the Clear Creek Brewery.

I’m getting into bed.

Five a.m. sometimes comes too quickly. And depending on how your night went, I might be getting up before you even make it to your bed.

It sometimes is hard to just get myself to open my eyes at this time in the morning, but when I remember why I am doing it, it isn’t long before I am putting on my running tights, zipping up my winter jacket, double layering on gloves and then heading out the door.

The first few steps are always slow and stiff feeling.

The breath is visible with every exhale and it doesn’t take long for the moisture in my nose to start to freeze up or the moisture from my breathe to solidify into tiny ice drops on my eye lashes.

The town is dead quiet and peaceful. Getting on the Klondike Rd. Trail and leaving the light polluted air, the black darkness opens up above with a blanket of stars flickering above like tiny flashlight beams light years away.

The open sky this route provides is incredible. More often than not, a handful of shooting starts blaze across for a few seconds before dying.

By the time I’m halfway through my run, the sun begins to poke above the horizon to the east. A deep orange fades into a light blue. Then the blue fades to the black that still hangs over the west.

Slowly the whole sky is light and the mountains have turned a wonderful purple from the perfect blend of snow and sunlight.

Such natural beauty is unique and irreplaceable and can only increase one’s appreciation for life.

It adds to the accomplishment of finishing a two-hour run with sore legs, heavy breathing and sweat that stings the eyes.

All of this is before most people wake up Saturday morning. Before people even open their eyes and are still dreaming of a wonderful world, I have already lived my dream world in what I love to do.

Was the sacrifice worth it?

Absolutely. And I will do it every day, every week and every year as long it is my love for running that keeps me thirsty for life.

Running in the Dark

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I’m going to place running on a trail in the dark, as one of the scariest things to do.

I’m my mind, every rustle in the bushes could be a mountain lion ready to pummel me in an instant. Every black mass could be a moose ready to stampede me at any moment. Every white…what the fuck is that?!

Oh, just a sign on the trail.

Running in the dark can make a grown man freak the hell out. But once I emerged out of a black forest darker than the night sky, the fear melted away and bliss opened up. A pre dawn sky filled with countless stars and the Bighorn mountains silhouetted the distant background like a backdrop of a Broadway show.

The windchill pricked my face at every possible chance but it only seemed to enhanced the stage I ran across.

Finishing a run before your neighbors wake up brings an appreciation few experience. Finishing a run before the sun wakes up brings out a gratefulness for life itself and an acknowledgement that so few get to feel that pure and simple understanding.

I can’t think of a better way to begin a new day and it almost makes it impossible to have a bad day. It sets the tone for how you handle the ups and downs that life presents.

I don’t think I’ve settled into a new job as quickly as I did today on my first day at the newspaper. Once I got past awkwardly standing around waiting for people to show up (I was the second to arrive. An intern was the first) and getting over the nerves of people listening to me make phone calls, I felt comfortable and right at home.

My boss’s wife offered a place for me to spend Christmas, which was perfect because I was planning on being by myself. I was given a Canon camera to complement my writing assignments and was even given a key to the office. Lunch was paid for and I savored a veggie sandwich on fresh herb dill bread from a local cafe.

One of my two stories I wrote a few weeks ago for my test to be hired, was published in the paper today. Seeing my name in print was gratifying and it was also a surprise because I forgot about writing them.

I was worried that sitting at a desk all day would dig up old feelings of feeling caged and chained up. Then I realized that if I wasn’t there, I would be spending my day the exact same way, reading and writing.

I know it was only my first day, but I enjoyed it.