I started this blog a few years ago as a practice. A practice to see if I could write “blog style.” And a practice of commitment…not so much about writing but healthy living. I committed publicly to re-joining Weight Watchers and to train to run a 5K. Through the winter, spring, and summer of 2011, I learned to blog and jog. And as anyone can see, both the blogging and jogging seemed to wane once I had run the 5K and attained my goal weight. (See many previous posts about being a person who is both accustomed to having a sense of direction and has a desire to achieve.) Mix in a portion of my tendency to get distracted and a dash of my penchant for Netflixing, and there is the recipe for how to go from 5k to couch.
And I did.
Life got busy. I figured I deserved time to sit. Life got stressful. I figured I needed time to veg. Life included more people. I figured I needed to be around more. All of my figuring added up to way more minutes on the couch than on the treadmill. This math didn’t make me completely happy, but it seemed to work ok.
Until I found myself lost in the wilderness. Couching and netflixing, although good in small doses, aren’t so helpful in the wilderness. After all, toting a sofa is an awfully heavy load. And where does one plug in a computer? So, I have found myself back pounding the pavement. This time I’m practicing, too. Not to train for a race. But as a spiritual practice.
I’ve discovered that my pounding pavement becomes a form of prayer. There’s something about the monotony that becomes almost meditative. There’s something about stretching the ability of my body that renders me incapable of being anything but brutally honest with myself–and God. There’s something about focusing on breath and form that forces me to drop the weight and worry I carry for others into God’s open palms.
Like my running, the pavement pounding prayers are not pretty or precise. They are a work in progress. Raw and real. How else does one thrive in the wilderness?