This Christmas I was given an awesome gift: sweet headphones. I love them and use them literally every day. They are the closest thing I have to a pet right now. While I am cooking or cleaning up or folding laundry or while my kids fight the headphones are on they make it all better. I am a little concerned that most of my kid's memories of their childhood will involve me wearing headphones and either smiling and nodding or yelling "WHAT?!?!" every time they address me...whatever, it's fine. It should come as no surprise that one of my favorite parts of training is listening to music on my headphones. Dancing like a crazy person isn’t socially acceptable, so this is the next best thing. The running is a necessary means to an end...I get some time alone & get to listen to music. YES. Oh, and I like my music LOUD. I get into it...fist pumps and prancing has been happening on 100% of my runs.
I have a new goal for this week though. After talking to my newly appointed running coach, I am going to make room for quiet and less noise. To not just turn up the volume when I am needing to zone out or be distracted, instead to lean into it. To be present in the moment and work through it. Maybe to take advantage of that time to pray, worship, and meditate. He even suggested dedicating miles to people as I run. I love this idea, although I am legitimately fearful that I might be crying for the ENTIRE run as I think about my husband, kids, friends, and family. Tears aside, this is my next goal. Not speed or form, but turning the volume down, making room, and being mindful. I am excited about this experiment and will be sure to report back.
There is a shift that is beginning to happen. I am not just enduring my runs, but I am finding myself enjoying them and being thankful for the ability to run. I am thankful for this body that has changed over time and now allows me to do these long runs. And I want to honor that deep sense of gratitude that is growing and to actually be present, not just distracted.
If there is one thing I know about myself it is that I like to live life turned up. More is almost always better, to the point of excess occasionally. Loud music and constant distractions throughout the day, rather than quiet and more simple are no exceptions. I know it is good to have more quiet and space. And that a life with fewer distractions lines up more with what I want. To be more present and less scattered. To choose to engage fully into moments that matter, rather than being scared that I can’t handle it or that I will become overwhelmed.
So I am starting where I am, carving out time with my beloved music and choosing the quiet. Intentionally and purposefully. Giving God some space and room to work.