Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Beyond the Tennis Courts

It appears that I may be threading my daily jogs into my blog, but today I am actually going to speak to them directly and of course metaphorically.

I take the same route every time. Ok I switched it up once, but barely. I am not sure why I decided to make this a routine considering I don't do this when I drive to destinations of frequency. Another routine thing happens on my path - I usually, but not always, stop to walk/break at the same spot: the tennis courts.

So why is it that I stop here? One reason could be that it's my safety spot, my comfort zone, the place which beyond there is a risk of pain, heat, breathlessness, trips and falls resulting from fatigue. Another part if me is probably thinking it's time to self-reward - this is my subconscious plateau, and since I made it this far, I deserve a rest.

I am cognizant that wise ones say I should pressure myself to reach beyond the tennis courts, push my limits and set some stretch goals. It's easy to say this, but it's hard to break the habit of comfort.

There have been a few times I didn't stop. How did I do it?

I thought about something else. This seems contrary to advice that you should tense your brows with all-consuming focus and with blinders on aim for your end-point - reachable or unreachable, mental or physical. At the other end of the pendulum, yoga gurus suggest you clear you mind of all thoughts and just "be" and somehow that will prepare you to get where you want to go.

But I seemed to get farther when I just didn't think about getting farther at all, nor did I try and concentrate on breaking down the parts of my body and how they felt or how I was breathing or moving through the pain. I let my mind wander to other things, like what my next blog was going to be (so an alternative goal not related to the actual one at hand), or how beautiful the trees looked today and could they actually look different from yesterday and how would you even be able to notice that (something silly). And when I did this I found myself right out of the park, wondering how I got here, and surprised that I did.

By no means am I trying to say that you should never set goals or approach them with the intensity they deserve. And the exercise of freeing your mind is a challenge I have yet to overcome - and I am adamant that I will get there someday, as contradictory as that sounds. What I am saying is that sometimes you might find yourself beyond the tennis courts because you were dreaming of swimming in the pool.
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