Kristin Armstrong writes for Runner's World and while I haven't had a lot of time to read my favorite mags lately, this article struck me. It's not really about running, but life. And since RW online doesn't let me share to blogger, I'm copying and pasting ('cause that's what I do).
Root to Rise
08/31/2010 5:02 PM
Today was a double sweat day. I ran early this morning, which created tension (in my body, not my mind – especially after mile repeats yesterday, whew) and I went to yoga this afternoon, to release tension. I think I am now so accustomed to sweating that my body goes from matte to full-on-open-pore- drainage in less than five minutes.
I stood on my mat, stretched out in triangle pose, with sweat pouring down my arm and plopping onto my towel; the teacher asked us to turn, firmly plant our hands and kick one leg up. "Push against the floor, use it to ground yourself. Remember you have to root to rise." With that single sentence, my zen concentration went out the window and I started obsessing over her words. I breathed and worked my way through all the poses, gladly flopping onto my soggy towel at the end of class for a blissful savasana. I wanted to be still and ponder the idea of rooting to rise.
Rooting to rise is a visual, physical concept in yoga, when what you are trying to do requires strength or balance. You literally have to push against the floor and channel your core strength in order to extend through the pose (and, if you are me, hold it without toppling over). You can see and feel your response to the applied energy of rooting your body. But rooting to rise is a viable lesson even in less visible scenarios.
It applies to marathon training, painstakingly building a deep base in order to have something to draw upon when the time comes to rise to the occasion of race day. With our longest run coming up this weekend (22 miles), I have already started to go there in my mind, preparing myself by collecting energy and harnessing positive thoughts. I subconsciously do this when I have something challenging on the horizon, making sure I am firmly rooted for the test ahead. I am not one to reach high for something without doing the work to ensure my feet are balanced firmly beneath me. I believe in the notion that the best fun is the kind you earn.
Rooting to rise pertains to my mothering, digging deep and trying to enrich the soil that nourishes my children. It's my job to root them; their job to rise. Only deep roots will enable them to survive the seasons of life ahead. It would be so easy to get caught up in the shuffle of school and activities, thinking I'm doing it right without stopping to consider if I'm doing the right things. My goal is to shepherd these children into adulthood, not just to school and sports. If I am not consciously rooting myself, my actions and choices will not stem from a place of intent.
It relates to friendship, and the investments made in the roots of my relationships. Relationships that are fruitful, or offer a canopy of shade, are the ones that have been deeply rooted and well tended. When crisis hits, the relationships that rise to surround you are the ones you have poured your heart into during ordinary times.
The time to root is today. Whether it means a strong and steady yoga pose, a hard tempo run, dinner alone with your spouse, reading a story with your child, signing up for that class you have always wanted to take, or making time for a friend, the way to root is to stretch, to go deeper, to invest your heart.