The following is a post from last Sunday that did not get published… it has been sitting here in my drafts folder, unedited. So…. here it is, as it is. 🙂
———————————– May 15, 2011
I had planned to write this next post about Ashtanga Yoga: how the Mysore style practice is challenging both mentally and physically, and feels really intense to me, and how – even when I hate it – it is exactly what I need right now. That’s what I had thought I’d be writing about.
But then, today happened. Today showed me something of intensity and commitment, pain and perseverance.
Somewhere around 9am the front-runner of the Capital City Marathon ran by our house. Lean and long, led by a pacing car, he looked like he could run another route. Turns out we had front row seats to an amazing flow of courageous and committed marathon participants.
The marathon route came down our street, and the large picture window from the front room looked out onto mile 23 for the marathoners and mile 10 for the half marathoners. We watched and waved and cheered – some still running strong and light, others obviously struggling and/or in pain; some laughing and smiling, others focused intently on putting one foot in front of the other, every one of them committed to reaching the finishing line.
It is inspiring to see that kind of focus. Somewhere around 1pm what we thought to be the very last runner came by, alone except for the support car sweeping along behind him, and behind that, the truck picking up the race cones. My sister and I went outside and cheered him on. A fleeting smile crossed his face and I knew he was going to make it to the end.
Why is it that we cheer the loudest for the last person to finish the race? I think it’s because we can all relate to being last, and to doing whatever we can to cross that (often metaphorical) finish line. Sure, there are days that we feel like a front-runner… on top of the world, running easy. But then there are the days that all we can do is place one foot in front of the other… taking each thing as it comes.
Those are the days that count. Those are the days that teach us to live, breath by breath, moment by moment. Life is in the details, in the nitty-gritty, in the beauty of doing what we do, just because it IS what we do.
That runner we cheered on at the end of the race wasn’t the last one to come by the house. Late afternoon, an older man came by. You couldn’t call it running, just a slow jog alternated with walking. This was long after the race was over: the cones picked up and the finish line closed down. One lone man, continuing on, literally placing one foot in front of the other.
It’s what we all do…. just keep on breathing, keep on living, keep on keeping on, just because we can. We all are inspirational, because we all are here, doing what we do. Life is beautiful, even in these nitty-gritty tough little details that we meet every day.
It is good to be alive.