This Post Counts*

I did not wrun today, darn it. And it’s almost tomorrow.

I did have a glass of wine though, which for me, midweek, that’s just CRAZY-talk. Perhaps also why I took a “nap” from 8-1030 on the couch.

I missed going for a wrun. Enough to not not-go tomorrow or the next day or the next, and also enough not to break my no computer electronics or TVs in the bedroom rule to type out this quick pre-sleep post to not break a growing daily posting streak. (Full disclosure: I started typing this at approx. 11:51PM, but won’t press publish ’til after midnight so I will be adjusting the time. *My blog, my rules.)

No meditation today either and I actually noticed missing that too! Will sneak in a Buddhify on the ferry tomorrow.

Oh and this: orthopedic doctor appointment is on Tuesday. Here’s a great Runner’s World video of what I think my diagnosis will be. Stay tuned.

Just Keep Wrunning

Went out for another walk tonight, fast pace, but intentionally NO RUNNING. I turned on my Buddhify to help get mind and body connected, specifically focusing on the Embodiment meditation which asked me to acknowledge that exercise has an expectation on future results, but to pay attention to the work the body is doing in the present. I was most appreciative that my Brit said desired future results are very often about vanity  which is FINE and that 100% works for  me because I am nothing if not 100% vain.

It was a beautiful night, the kind of still, summer evening where the slowly setting sun draws down the heat of the day by throwing your shadow ever longer against the trail. Toward the middle of my exercise-walk, that familiar feeling of clarity I only get when on a run started turning on the groggy synapses in my brain and there it was: a cool thought!

This was not a run, nor a walk. I shall now call this…

a wrun.

And also, I will hashtag you my new favorite word whilst I recover from this injury, I will write about wrunning.

#wrun #wrunning #wrunnuer

OMG MEDITATION WORKS.

God Save The Queen

It’s a streak! Two posts in a row! And guess what else…

I walked AND I meditated. If there was a mic in my hand, I’d probably throw it for a strike.

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Tonight I decided to take my own advice and just, you know, WALK. Walk fast yes, but no running, not even a jog. Then in a stroke of brilliance (resilience!) I remembered I have an app on my iPhone called Buddhify. It’s designed for urban folks like me who spend considerable parts of their days commuting or walking through a city getting from here to there, often trying to disconnect from the blaring world around them, because honestly, one can only take so much city life with the bustling, busking and barking. (And I don’t mean by the dogs.) Buddhify has a a Gym meditation as well, so even though I don’t do gyms, it was the best fit for my intention tonight: connect my mind back to my body. Adorably, Buddhify is British, so you can select a male or female Brit to guide the meditation which could not have been more fitting on this day of Royal Windsor Baby Press Call. I watched a snippet of coverage right before the walk and found myself welling up over everyone’s authentic joy for these charming human anachronisms. Plus, there is no western culture that does pageantry like the British. I mean, there was a SIXTY-TWO gun salute. That’s pomp!

While coveting my hip British meditation guide’s cool tones and imagining how Princess Di would have been the best grandmother in the empire of the Universe, I thought of another favorite British character, the one and only Bridget Jones. (And not Renee Zellwegger’s version, the one that lives in my head based on The Book.) I read Bridget Jones’s Diary as soon as it came out in hardcover here in the US, which was the summer of 1998. I had already read the excerpts in Vogue and was a fan-girl from moment one. I would read the book in bed with my then boyfriend and start laughing so hard I would wake him from a dead sleep. Ahh happy memories…

Although I am now 10 years older than the eternally-32 Bridget, I can still relate to her struggles as an urban singleton and the desire to be loved just the way you are, even on the days you are up a size and the bigger tits are not feeling like a bonus. (Yes, gentlemen, I know, the tits are ALWAYS fine just the way they are, but especially bigger. Mine are. You’re welcome.) Eyes up here: so I found this fantastic excerpt and I howled with enough laughter in the re-read that I am sure to wake my new boyfriend from where he sleeps now.

Massive, breathless, earnest thanks to the writer of Bridget Jones’s Diary, the AMAZING Helen Fielding and to Brits in general for reminding me to carry on then, walk, meditate, mind the gap. Enjoy this excerpt.

Tuesday 3 January

130 lbs. (terrifying slide into obesity–why? why?), alcohol units 6 (excellent), cigarettes 23 (v.g.), calories 2472.

9 a.m. Ugh. Cannot face thought of going to work. Only thing which makes it tolerable is thought of seeing Daniel again, but even that is inadvisable since am fat, have spot on chin, and desire only to sit on cushion eating chocolate and watching Xmas specials. It seems wrong and unfair that Christmas, with its stressful and unmanageable financial and emotional challenges, should first be forced upon one wholly against one’s will, then rudely snatched away just when one is starting to get into it. Was really beginning to enjoy the feeling that normal service was suspended and it was OK to lie in bed as long as you want, put anything you fancy into your mouth, and drink alcohol whenever it should chance to pass your way, even in the mornings. Now suddenly we are all supposed to snap into self-discipline like lean teenage greyhounds.

10 p.m. Ugh. Perpetua, slightly senior and therefore thinking she is in charge of me, was at her most obnoxious and bossy, going on and on to the point of utter boredom about latest half-million-pound property she is planning to buy with her rich-but-overbred boyfriend, Hugo: “Yars, yars, well it is north-facing but they’ve done something frightfully clever with the light.”

I looked at her wistfully, her vast, bulbous bottom swathed in a tight red skirt with a bizarre three-quarter-length striped waistcoat strapped across it. What a blessing to be born with such Sloaney arrogance. Perpetua could be the size of a Renault Espace and not give it a thought. How many hours, months, years, have I spent worrying about weight while Perpetua has been happily looking for lamps with porcelain cats as bases around the Fulham Road? She is missing out on a source of happiness, anyway. It is proved by surveys that happiness does not come from love, wealth or power but the pursuit of attainable goals: and what is a diet if not that?

On way home in end-of-Christmas denial I bought a packet of cut-price chocolate tree decorations and a £3.69 bottle of sparkling wine from Norway, Pakistan or similar. I guzzled them by the light of the Christmas tree, together with a couple of mince pies, the last of the Christmas cake and some Stilton, while watching Eastenders, imagining it was a Christmas special.

Now, though, I feel ashamed and repulsive. I can actually feel the fat splurging out from my body. Never mind. Sometimes you have to sink to a nadir of toxic fat envelopment in order to emerge, phoenix-like, from the chemical wasteland as a purged and beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer figure. Tomorrow new Spartan health and beauty regime will begin.

Mmmm. Daniel Cleaver, though. Love his wicked dissolute air, while being v. successful and clever. He was being v. funny today, telling everyone about his aunt thinking the onyx kitchen-roll holder his mother had given her for Christmas was a model of a penis. Was really v. amusing about it. Also asked me if I got anything nice for Christmas in rather flirty way. Think might wear short black skirt tomorrow.

Wednesday 4 January

131 lbs. (state of emergency now as if fat has been stored in capsule form over Christmas and is being slowly released under skin), alcohol units 5 (better), cigarettes 20, calories 700 (v.g.).

4 p.m. Office. State of emergency. Jude just rang up from her portable phone in flood of tears, and eventually managed to explain, in a sheep’s voice, that she had just had to excuse herself from a board meeting (Jude is Head of Futures at Brightlings) as she was about to burst into tears and was now trapped in the ladies’ with Alice Cooper eyes and no makeup bag. Her boyfriend, Vile Richard (self-indulgent commitment phobic), whom she has been seeing on and off for eighteen months, had chucked her for asking him if he wanted to come on holiday with her. Typical, but Jude naturally was blaming it all on herself.

Throwing Spirit Rocks

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My dad, ever the literary allusionist, still enjoys teasing my brother and me with references to esoteric literature, mostly of the ye olde English and suffering Irish variety, and that’s definitely being used in the Sunday New York Times crossword (at which he excels, natch). One that his been on the playlist since my childhood is to point out one’s low mood that has been hanging on for a spell as wallowing in the “slough of despond.” I bring this up  not only to improve your own crossword scores, but to give you a window into what counts as humor in my family; it has to be dark, twisted and hysterical, oh, I mean heretical. (Author’s note: I am NOT depressed! Been there, done that, I’m just in a rut, a knee-pained, boggy, godless rut.) <smiley face>

Because I am in this slough of physical bleargh, and I want not to be, I decided to get my worried, noticeably softening thighs into a meditation class so I could at least start to address the issue of my distracted and nearly manic headspace. And since running is what I would count as my meditation time, and I have not run a regular set of miles since April, I had to do something. Also, it’s on my Life List. 

I took the day off last Friday and went out to Spirit Rock Meditation Center in West Marin. Their weekly Friday Morning Yoga and Mediation class welcomes all comers, newbies and buddhas alike. We did an hour of (too) gentle (for me) yoga, then set up for a 30-45 minute “sit” or guided meditation. The theme for the day was resiliency, and focus on the breath to bring the mind back to the desired state of supple buoyancy, the place where we are able to be present and observant, not brittle or reactive. Resilience resonates with me; I often think of a tee shirt  I have (I got it right around the time when my marriage ended) that is emblazoned with the slogan, “Brilliant Rhymes with Resilient” as a mantra for strength. Little did I know how long I’d be stuck in that slough and that it was Resilience that would always carry me through!

Resilience is also the medicine this time, and life experience has taught me that this too shall pass. However, I’m not at peace with the pace of this current passing. It’s too slow, I’m way too impatient, and I’m angry that limited funds is what is actually slowing the process down further because I sure as hell know the doctors, bodyworkers and coaches that could speed this recovery and support my creativity. The good news is, it came to me in the mediation just how pissed off I really am, and that I have to figure out what to do with that anger, since I cannot f’ing go for a run and writing has become quite hard without it.

Meditate more? Probably.

Do the damn 15 minute a day writing exercises for 30 straight days? Duh.

Go on a fast? Don’t judge me.

Start fast walking? Yes.

Do a brain dump?

Dump my boyfriend? Oh wait, I need to get one first. And I’m only in the market for a great, committed ONE, not idiots I have to dump.

If I were to ask my dad for some words of wisdom, he’d not turn to Shakespeare or Joyce this time. He’d simply say, “chicken soup.” Simple. Brilliant. And makes you resilient.

(This post also appears at Go Mighty!)

I Heard There’s This Place Called Summer

Last summer's list... full disclosure: much like the blobbed word on the ball, it didn't go so well.

Last summer’s list… full disclosure: much like the blobbed word “FUN” on the ball, my summer didn’t go so well.

The Summer of 2013 is decidedly not the Greatest Summer of All Time pour moi. Oh, oops, I slipped into a bit of French there, maybe because every single human I know well (not to mention the semi-knowns I follow on Instagram) is in f’ing Paris right now. Oops, sorry, I am not cursing Paris. I know it to be a beautiful, inspiring city teeming with art and culture, and its meta-clichés of chic bike riding women whose baskets carry actual baguettes and flowers, whizzing past lovers making out at every café and park bench is actually charming and delightful and from what I remember of the one time I was there over 10 years ago for four days makes you feel that… je ne sais quois… oh, there I go again. Having that not-summer summer.

There are 467 thousand valid reasons that I am unable to take a summer vacation this year and the same list applies to why I could not take one last year. However, there are none that are stopping me from enjoying the season here at home on weekends and long, late-setting days. But there is this issue: I’m fixed in an ironic struggle that has me so exhausted I can’t relax, but the more I don’t relax the more weary I become. And even though summer is famous for it’s call to slow down, I have been deaf to it. (Except in French.)

This morning I made the executive decision to take a whole day off this coming Friday. The only way this counts though is if I go DO something summery a.k.a. touristy/cultural/fun etc. I have been so far down the stress rabbit hole that I could not even process making those types of plans, and then, by the grace of the one brain cell I have left, I remembered…

I put “Start A Mediation Practice” on my Life List.

Good thing I had that written down and posted online! And even better that I live 30 minutes away from two world renowned spiritual retreat and mediation centers! And triple word score for the fact that one is having a Morning Meditation and Yoga Class on Friday morning AND it has a sliding scale, something my budget requires! So, there it is, I will be turning off my electronics for the better part of the day, and meditating my way into summer.

A votre santé!

(The post also appears at Go Mighty!)

Monkey Mind

Just a note to say I am winning at failing at the Deepak/Oprah Perfect Health 21-Day Meditation Challenge. (I also hate the term “Challenge” as used for learning meditation skills, is it a competition? Um, no.) Not only am I not trying very hard, I don’t like hearing Deepak’s voice as he recites the daily thoughts, not because what he is saying isn’t relevant or interesting, but because it’s Deepak, the ubiquitous spiritual guru to the masses with his lovely lilting Indian British accent and books and branding, I am totally distracted and counting his money for him. And I love money! And inner peace!

Oy.

I don’t have a solution yet, but wanted to admit that I know I am responsible for the success or failure of this goal, and participating half-heartedly guarantees failure. I know I have to look for another method and teacher that suits my learning style, one that has a massive ADD chip on its shoulder!

Um, Ommmm?

It’s on the Life List 2013: Start a Meditation Practice. So, tomorrow, Monday 11, March, 2013, I am going to attempt to start to try to learn how to invite the practice of mediation into my life, maybe hopefully, but it counts, right?

It totally counts.

Am slightly terrified.

And I just took a deep breath to calm that fear.

Annnnnyway, I am going to join Oprah and Deepak, and if you want to try to, here is the link to sign up for the class. If I flail or fail, I will just regroup and hit up Spirit Rock.

But this is a start.