Thursday, August 5, 2010

Running Inward

Usually during a physical activity, such as running, walking, hiking, a lot of thoughts cross your mind. Sometimes, a string of connected ideas; sometimes totally random. Sometimes, you entertain all thoughts; sometimes, you dwell on a single thought. However, all these thoughts, ideas, memories come from nowhere else but within you. Hence, an activity like running usually leads you inward to your own self.

I went out for a run on the street while I was waiting for my son from his guitar lessons. And I reflected on the experience of running inward. Lots of random thoughts came to my mind but as I let them fill my mind, I felt them centering and drawing towards my heart. But I could't fully make sense of it. I set the idea aside until I got back from my run and saw my son playing a beautiful piece on his guitar. He and his music sounded soulfully. I could tell he was playing from the heart. Then it dawned on me -- running inward is like an artist playing from the heart. Your heart and your body, your spirit and your strength combine to run freely and joyfully.

From his guitar lessons, my son and I went to one of our favorite trails on Contra Loma and went for a run together. We ran the first half talking about everything under the sun. Then we split up. He did some hill repeats on a short but steep incline. While I ran another loop around the lake. There I reflected on running inward. I thought of a time when the artist in me was expressed from the heart. There was one time back when I was a senior in high school. I played the guitar to lead the school during the Mass songs. It was raining hard outside and we could hear the the really loud pouring rain on the aluminum roofing over our auditorium. Spontaneously, the student body sang loudly but in harmony together to outdo the rain while I played my best to accompany their expression of praise. Everybody was amazed at everyone's singing. The priest said that it was truly a song of praise. I was proud of myself at that time because I knew I played from the heart.

The same feeling came to me as I ran. Before I knew it, I was almost to the end of the loop. I was hardly tired and my mood was high. I met my son by the foot of the hill where he did his repeats. He said he had an excellent workout, too. As we drove back home, we talked about our runs. It was great way to end the day.

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