Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Walk, Don't Run!

By Jon Dunnemann

Do you remember being told walk, don't run by parent and teacher alike as a youngster? Of course you do. It seemed a weird request back then in a world so completely filled with adventure, challenge, and mystery. And all the while we desperately wanted to get to the next best thing as fast as our little legs and swinging little arms would propel us. Once we arrived where we needed to go we were rarely content to stay put for too long a period of time.  


It required every bit of self-containment along with a little help from our friends who had already safely made their own way to that high ground from which one can relax, listen, and keep their eyes on the person and subject matter requiring their immediate attention. 

At times, it still feels as though my skill in slowing down hasn't progressed all that much. I remain strongly driven by a desire to get there. Whatever the illusion of "there" seemingly represents at any particular time in my adult life. Why is it so hard for me to "be here now"? 

Most likely because that is the way I have allowed my mind to run for a long time. It will not be easy to change this. Then again, if there's no strain then don't expect there to be any gain. Whether its lifting weights, on-the-job performance or meditative walking and running, at times there will certainly be difficult days ahead. In spite of that, there is a hidden beauty that lies within both this inner and outer struggle. 

My right achilles heal is usually prone to soreness and tightness because I ruptured it several years ago. Stretching well and regularly is a must for me to avert potential future injury and to be able to enjoy and effectively complete my outdoor recreational activities without experiencing an ugly "wipeout".

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches his students of mindfulness meditation training that we must be able to come home to the present moment in order for us to truly touch upon the wonders of life that are refreshing, healing, and so very nourishing. This does not and probably will not happen if we are unable or worse unwilling to ever basically "be still".

Take the necessary time to walk, don't run and you are apt to take notice of many more of the things that are going on not only around you but inside of you emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well. As I was pleased to discover today, when I concentrate on carefully placing on foot in front of the other, equally balancing my weight, and continuing onward at a moderate pace my right achilles heel feels less stressed as did my general disposition about how I was approaching completing today's' exercise routine. Go figure!!!