revisiting “A New Earth”

21 12 2008

 

read this book.

read this book.

i’m rereading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. it’s awesome to me that just pages in, i’m reminded what is so appealing, and true and clear in this book. it speaks to me on the deepest level. I’m planning on blogging about what it means to me as i read. More later…

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…a run through the woods

11 12 2008

 

i'd run it.

i'd run it.

ran my first official trail race this past Saturday.  Although I’ve been doing some trail running as part of my full training for a couple of months now, this was my first official trail race.  I did the Run at the Rock at Cedar Rock Park in Burlington, NC.  I must say that I could definitely only run this way for the rest of my life.  It was a great experience.  The race was well run, the runners were all super friendly, the trail is beautiful and I had a great time.

 

it’s funny, but when I’m on the trail, tough runs never seem as tough.  For whatever reason, i don’t find myself working as hard, i’m not constantly checking my pace, my time.  i also find that i run with a smile on my face more often when i’m in the woods.  I liken it to a kid on a playground.  When i’m on a trail run, i’m so focused on dodging limbs, missing roots and stepping over rocks, that I don’t pay attention to time, breathing, etc.  and the funny thing is, i often end up faster than a road run.  

on a few occasions, i’ve actually gotten lost in the woods on a trail run.  most of my trail runs are done on the single- and double-track trails that tail off of the pumpkin trail in Chapel Hill.  Moby and I have taken long saturday morning runs there before and gotten lost.  he loves trail runs as much as me and is really good at leading the way for me.  Each time we got lost, we just decided we’d run till we were tired, then we’d just turn around and run back to where we started.

 the bonus affect of my new affection for trail running is a growing awareness of the need to preserve the spaces that provide us with the amazing and challenging trails to begin with.  i’m fortunate to live in a community with a strong belief in conservation and people willing to be leaders in protecting those spaces.  one such group is the trailheads.  i’ve not had the opportunity to meet any of this group, but i have heard only good things about them and they are a group…well, you can read there mission on their site.

i’m still dedicated to completing my first marathon in March, at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA.  and in keeping with that, i’m only giving myself one trail run a week.  i’m concerned that too much training on the softer surface of trails will serve as poor preparation for 26.2 on the road.  but, i’ll continue to sprinkle in races, and after the big race, i may never come off trails again.

in case anyone’s wondering, i finished the 7-miler in 56:15, which i was really pleased with, considering the terrain and the fact that i’d never seen the course before.  next up, the little river run – a 10-miler on january 9.  in the mean time, it’s always training season, and maybe i’ll see you on the trail.





Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s powerful stroke of insight

4 12 2008

Watched another great Tedtalk tonight, or I should say, I watched it again.  Often I find myself looking for inspiration or motivation from different places, and sometimes TED.com delivers just what I’m looking for.  Jill Bolte Taylor has some impressive insight into brain disorders, considering that she studies them and, several years ago, she suffered a stroke.  Her interesting insight into that experience is detailed in the video below.

I’m fascinated by her description of the right and left brain and what how each side takes in and interprets it’s surroundings.  The idea that our left brain brings along with it the emotional baggage of our lives and that it’s ability and process of sorting through external stimulus is affected by it makes complete sense to me.  I’m also intrigued by Dr. Taylor’s description of those moments when her left brain “shut off” during her stroke and how she described what she saw, felt and heard in those moments.

To a somewhat lesser extent, I get a similar experience when I run.  The rhythmic sound and feel of my feet on the ground really clear my mind.  It’s not that I think more clearly.  It’s not that I see things differently.  I simply don’t think at all.  I just run.  The only things moving through my thoughts are “breathe in, breathe out, one foot in front of the other.” 

There’s a therapy technique called EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  I’m not an expert on the topic and don’t pretend to understand it all, but basically, REM sleep, which is the point of sleep when our minds are most active, is recreated by producting rhythmic tapping movements (often with hands on a flat surface) while the patient clears his mind.  There’s great information on the EMDR Institue website.  I think that this is what happens when I run.  I’m clearing my mind by recreating the rhythm of REM sleep when I run.  

Some people think that Science and Spirituality can’t exist together, that we have to either have a belief in the logic of Science or faith in a Higher Power.  I’d pose the question – why not both?  See, I believe that we’re put here for a reason, that that reason can only be achieve when we all figure it out and work together to do it, and that whoever put us here did so with the knowledge that as we made the journey, we’d inevitably learn about ourselves, about our surroundings and about what makes us who we are.  And that we’d ultimately choose who we would be.  This is a great video.  Enjoy.





Hello world!

2 12 2008

Greetings wordpress!  I’ve just finished migrating from blogger, mostly because I like the way this site’s UI looks and works, and partly because I was bored with blogger.  I’ll be back soon to give more info on me.  Frankly this blog is mostly for me. It’s a great creative outlet.  But, if you wanna read, by all means – go ahead, enjoy.

-G