No Category selected Gaining Perspective

    Gaining Perspective


    Inspiration comes from many places and the thought of searching out new sources of it can be a daunting and trying task. The inspiration for say, making a delicious chocolate cake is of course, the delectable moment when you can take that first moist bite – better yet, when you get to watch someone you love take that first grateful bite. Just ask my husband about this as he has a lovely habit of baking the most wonderful smelling banana bread and then promptly delivering it to his most favourite running buddy. (This leaves my house wafting of its untouchable taste!) Running has given me back as much inspiration to continue as I have greedily taken from it. There are many relationships in this lifetime that are, by their very nature, a give and take. However, running appears to be one which offers itself up as a selfless sacrifice. To take part you just need to let go and run.

    Now the motivation to run is sometimes a different story. My eagerness to start running didn’t spark with the joy of watching my husband become so animated over something I could not understand. It didn’t strike up when I realised I had just celebrated the first (of many) anniversary of my 29th birthday. It was, for me, more about time and space. With the birth of our third child, I felt the miracle of life once more and in the same moment, the briefness of it. Our blessing came hardwired to live life in the fast lane…. In overdrive no less. Finding time to simply catch my breath has been a challenge and I wouldn’t change a thing. Having to work for space and time has made me appreciate it all the more.

    I often joke that in my grand attempts to gain some perspective, that I end up running myself ragged trying to find the right vantage point from which to get it. While I’m busy running up and down the mountain looking for the perfect place to watch the sunset – I am missing it. Once you give up and let go – you find it. Usually that’s the moment when I slip in the mud and end up flat on my back staring up at the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen. The one that I was missing. Sometimes it takes a good fall to figure out how to pick yourself back up. And I have fallen…. Fallen in love with running.

    I love that between 5:00am and 6:30am, I can learn to relax and smile and enjoy the ride that my body can give me. I love that I shed my exhaustion and frustration with each tentative step; that with each successive footfall on the path I hear my stress releasing itself into the ground. Lately I’ve been pondering even the way my laces flirt with the pavement as I run and it makes me think the even my shoes are enjoying themselves. And most especially I love that I can love the space and time without a fret or regret.

    People have asked me if I’m a gadget runner or a high tech runner. Here I have a good laugh. I pride myself on the fact that running is supposed to be a free sport. And further on the fact that I haven’t been many purchases outside of the thrift store for the sake of my new habit. This is the juncture where my husband would love to point out that is because I’m always borrowing his gadgets and thingamajigs. Since we run on opposite schedules to avoid day care costs, it works out okay. But for the most part, an mp3 or other techy distraction ranks very low in comparison to shear good company. I have to say – good company makes the effort well worth it.

    My guides have been coined the Floating White Torso’s. (Except when we run in the park and then one of them graciously becomes bear-bate!) This is something that I feel the need to explain as for me, having a running team is akin to having a punk garage band that plays loudly and proudly from your mom’s place, just to broadcast its existence. It’s hard to explain to people how I see, or what I don’t see, as to do so would involve an understanding of how you see. When I tell people I can’t see colors, at all, the first question becomes “well do you mean to say that you see in black and white?” How would I know? Honestly? What’s black and white? My best response is; “shades…. I see in shades, degrees of darkness and light.” What that means, I have no clue.

    When I first started running with my guides, they asked all the right questions about what they should wear for contrast and visibility. White is always best for the non-winter weather. It stands out with a bang against almost anything. (Including bears) That is, of course, unless you wash it one too many times with the rest of your dark running clothes. (I’ve never been very good at sorting laundry or matching socks for that matter) Everyone on the team found a white shirt. It was great. None of us have invested in white pants or shorts as of yet. One day we were discussing peripheral vision and the fact that I have none. They asked me what I saw of them as we ran. In my struggles to explain in terms they would understand I suggested it was like watching floating white torso’s bob up and down the trail. Instantly the Floating White Torso’s were born.

    Of course in the winter we have changed it up a bit and it’s more complicated. But when the headlights of oncoming cars are ripping out my retinas from within, I love that my guides always remember their white socks!

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    While we all have our own personal challenges to overcome in getting out the door for a run, Rhonda-Marie has one more – she is visually impaired. New to running, she trains in the wee hours of the morning with help from “patient and kind” volunteers at her local running group, who she describes as “the eyes my feet follow, they are the spirit my inhibition clings to.” This amazing 30-year-old mother of three fits in her runs amidst the busyness of family life and her work as a college student, and still manages to keep a great sense of humour about it all. She is very candid about “being colourblind in the underwear section at Wal-Mart (with) two older kids who think it’s kind of funny to pull a fast one on mommy when she wants to know what colour something is.” For the record, we’re sure the pink undies look great, even if they’re not your first colour choice!