La Fuerza de la Eneria

I remember when I was in Chile, as an exchange student in high school, contributing to a conversation in class about energia. I think we were talking about life after death, souls, heaven, hell—I probably didn’t understand most of the conversation but my contribution in Spanish was La energia no se puede distruir ni crear…siempre exsite. Energy can’t be created or destroyed, it always exists. I think this was my way of being spiritually awakened at age 17—not knowing (still not knowing) what I believe about life and death and souls and spirits. But I do know that I believe in energy; especially the power and effect of positive energy.

 

I decided earlier this week that I was going to run my longest run yet and practice running in the hotness of the day—I need to train in the heat for prepare for the race in February. After chatting with a friend last night about my hopes for today’s run I asked her to send some positive energy my way around 10:30am, about an hour after I planned on beginning, right when I knew I would need it. She agreed and said she’d send it for sure!

9:15 and I was sweating before I could tie my shoes. This week in Thailand has been unbelievably hot and humid—perfect for heat and humidity training I suppose but difficult to stay hydrated even when I’m not running. My run was to consist of two five-mile loops (I think it’s a five mile loop…) first one I finished no problem; it’s my normal daily run. Embarking on the second loop I could feel my legs and sweat glands working extra hard, I was dreaming of the Gu and water bottle I stashed two miles from where I was. Gummy mouth and energy waning, I needed some water and a few calories.

As I started a bit of down hill I began to feel a bit better, I knew I was getting closer to my hydration, I also looked at my watch and it was 10:31. I smiled and knew my friend was sending me the energy that I needed at that exact moment. I reached my bottle and Gu and kept going trying to hone in on this feeling of feeling okay, not great but not horrible.

As I reached one of my favorite temple ruins I saw a group of 5 monks dressed in gold sitting in the grass facing a group of Thai Buddhist wearing white—they were meditating, creating energy for themselves and appreciating the day. I was feeling a bit needy and mentally asked them for some energy—I had another 30 minutes of this run to get through and needed all the help I could get. At this point I had stopped sweating and was beginning to feel chilled, not the best sign when it’s 98 degrees and I was only able to hold down half the gel and a few sips of water. I asked and took the energy, I’d like to think they knew they were helping the farang though the hot run.

I finished strong. I walked the last 500 meters to my apartment door and smiled at what I had just experienced. Not only my longest run in Thailand but the power of the mind and focus it takes to decide to set out and do something. I don’t know if the energy literally came my way—I’m saying it did, and it helped. And believing in the energy doesn’t hurt…so spread it, share it, give it, receive and appreciate it.

Post run energy--coffee yen!

Post run energy–coffee yen!

 

74, 25, 1

10% and 90%? No. 50% and 50%? No. 75% and 25%? That’s probably closer.

 

This is me trying to figure out the mental to physical strength I’m going to need in February. Yep, you guessed it, I signed up for a 50K trail run in Thailand. What the fuck am I thinking? Part of me said after I entered my credit card into the little box. This is going to be awesome! The other part was saying. 5:30am is not a good time to make big decisions, but I threw down the money and now I have to begin training—for realz.

 

74% mental: (I know, you think I’m nuts…bear with me) 50K is what? Like 30-something miles? That’s a lot of time on your feet, a lot of time in your brain, a lot of time to talk yourself out of something. Or in my case I’m pretty good at talking myself into things. Being here in Thailand is tough on my brain, on my emotions and on my regular life routine. Running has been a savior, if I can convince myself that 89 degrees isn’t that hot (mostly because yesterday was 94 degrees) and I can go out and run—I’m golden. Just 7-10 hours of that on race day and done is done!

 

25% physical: So yeah, I do have to train for this thing. My current idea of a training plan is as follows:

 

6xweek: run

2xweek: 2 a day runs

3-4xweek: yoga

1xweek: try to get out for over 2 hours (we’ll see how this goes)

 

Other activities: badminton, push-up, squats, lunges…etc.

 

By February 2nd it’s just going to be another long day in woods…right?

 

Wait wait wait!!! Where’s that extra 1% ? you ask?

 

1%: Support. Cheerleaders. Positive energy. Love. And Gu… don’t forget the Gu.

Which Are You??

“This is why I moved here,” as my fellow east coaster friend and I rounded a bend and saw the view of Mount Shasta I know we were both thinking it, I said it out loud. The trails here in Southern Oregon are incredible. In-cred-ible! We both moved here from the mid-Atlantic to be happier and then we figured we figure it out as we go.

As our conversation progressed on our 3 hour trail run topics progressed from all over the board: men, work, running, roommates, religion, moving…etc. My friend started talking about a woman she works with and couldn’t help but notice that this woman seems to be young, beautiful, married but works a whole lot! Like, a lot a lot. So much that I think the only time she’s outside is when she’s between her house and her car and her car and work…unless she has a garage, and then maybe parks in an underground parking structure…anyway, this woman seems to do nothing but work and then grocery shop on her days off. BORING.

 

Why am I talking about some woman I don’t even know? I’ve never met her, why do I care what she does? I don’t, really. But I know lots of people like her and it makes me kind of sad and curious. Did she never have the chance to figure out what she loves? Is she happy?  Makes me think about something I’ve heard people say as a concept of life: I live to work. OR I work to live. Which one are you?

Do you spend your days at work dreaming to get out, planning your next trip, gearing up to experience something alone or with a friend in a new place? Or do you get up in the morning and go to bed each night with work on your mind, making money your first thought, paying off those bills so you can enjoy the good life LATER?

My friend and I ran and ran and ran for three hours yesterday. Winding through the trail systems that put my old ‘trails’ to shame. Talking, laughing, detoxing from our week of working—this is one of my favorite ways to feel good about life. Knowing that I have the opportunity and love of the outdoors to detach myself from the everyday struggles and stresses of life. My jobs are to allow me to do what I want know, they let me live where I want and let me do what I want right now.

 

I chose to work so I can live. Don’t get me wrong, I want to enjoy my job and be full filled, but I’m also beginning to understand that there is so much more than work. I want to work, I want to learn, I want to play, I want to figure out the best balance of being able to do it all and be full filled and enriched!

 

Now how do I do that? Quarter life crisis countdown is on… T-minus 6 days! Eeeeeeek!!