This week my lovely friend Alison popped over to see me and we went for a drink at our local pub in the gorgeous sunshine.
Alison is a friend from running club. We have done so many races together that we have had hours of chat over the years. Recently though Alison has been out of action following a knee replacement. We were talking about the 6 weeks post operation where she has been unable bear weight on the joint. I imagined that she would have hated being unable to get out and exercise because she normally does it so much, but actually she seemed really happy. She had read some books, watched some films and made the most of chilling out. She looked amazing for it, really relaxed and really well.
It got me wondering whether I could be OK with 6 weeks off exercise? I think I would find it really tough. I have an addictive personality, if I love doing something, like running, or writing my blog, I commit to it mentally and don’t lightly miss a session. In some areas of life this is great because it gives me commitment and drive. When it becomes a problem is when life gets in the way and it causes anxiety and upset.
Coping with change is something that we all do differently. Some of us thrive on change and some of us try to block impending change out and are dragged into it kicking and screaming. It really depends on the situation as to how we deal with it. For me I love change in many circumstances. I love trying new things, going to new places, I even love new ways of working in my job and feel a real sense of satisfaction when I get to grips with new processes. So a lot of the time I am so interested in the changing circumstances that the change happens very easily for me.
When I am not so great is when it is something like my running routine that is interrupted by circumstances. I have been a regular runner for about 13 years now and in that time I have suffered injuries that have put me out of action for periods of time. I hate it when I can’t go and Martyn hates it too because has always said it really impacts on my mood. I wonder now though if things have changed because of my meditation routine and my mindful way of living.
Luckily since I started meditating I have also reduced my running. So rather than running 20 miles this morning like I would have in the old days, I ran for 30 minutes. I did a hill training session which was still a good work out. I then had my morning free to spend with Noah, perfect! Mindfulness has helped me to get my life in balance so rather than letting my running addiction take over my life as it used to I now do little and often. It suits my body and mind and is also much better for my family.
So I hope by being less extreme about my running I will also avoid overdoing it and causing injury. Balance in life really is the key. And should I get forced to have 6 weeks off at some point I will at least have mindfulness to help get me through. Regular meditation would be great for keeping me on track and for helping to recognise that thoughts about not running are just thoughts, and that actually a bit of a forced chill out might just do me as much good as it did Alison.
If you struggle to cope with change then learning meditation and mindfulness techniques could really help. The September Revitalise Day is all about change and would be a great way to get going on a more balanced way of life.