Hello Again

Hey all! I’ve returned from three weeks of gallivanting around the UK with my hubs and am slowly settling back into real life. In the coming weeks I plan on sharing a few of the more interesting parts of our trip with you, getting back to working the steps for my body image project , and of course chatting lots about running, yoga, and all things fitness.

I really missed you guys while I was away! This community has become such a fun and inspiring part of my life; I really get so much out of the engagement that comes from opening up and sharing bits of my story with you. Thanks to all who followed me on Instagram during my blogging hiatus. I had such a blast having you along for the ride and taking your suggestions as we traveled from place to place.

Bit by bit, I’m getting back to some semblance of a routine. This weekend, I was in my usual Saturday morning yoga class and I had a bit of an epiphany. As I went down into triangle pose and started to feel my hips open, my mind traveled to an all too familiar place. I started to think about the run I would have the next day–where I would do it, how far I would go, the intensity. Then I stopped…

It’s really easy to say that I am focusing on staying in the present. I realize now though that actually doing it requires living with much more intention than I have previously. They say that if you want something different, you’ve got to do something different. You can’t carry on with the same old habits and expect results you’ve never experienced.

So when I desperately wanted to avoid that Sunday night dread that arrives before the first Monday back to work, I started to think about what I might have to do differently. Not planning every single minute of my life for the next week seemed to be key. That meant in that yoga class, at that moment when my mind got away from me, I pulled it back. I said to myself, “listen girl, you might die tonight and then your run tomorrow is a non-issue, just be here where you are, now.”

It worked. I had an amazing class. I thought since I was a little out of practice I would feel tired and stiff and maybe even sit out of a posture or two. But when I took each pose as the challenge of the moment, I stopped worrying about any difficulties I might have down the line. Each asana got my full energy (usually the posture I’m in gets about 60% and the other 40% is going to a pose later in the series, or even the next day’s workout!)

This experience was eye opening. It led me to resist all the normal planning and prepping I would do for a new week. I didn’t plan all my workouts. I didn’t make a mental note of what I would cook for dinner each night. I even skipped my normal Sunday cleaning of our apartment (I swear our place isn’t gross, we did a DEEP clean before we left so it’s really fine!). I also didn’t pore over googlemaps for an hour trying to figure out the best route to my new (more annoying to get to) office. I just didn’t. 

So far, this is what’s happened: I had a rest day on Monday but did deep stretches for about 20 minutes in the morning before taking a shower. This left me rejuvenated and limber for Tuesday morning where I had a great lift and the best interval run I’ve had in months. Monday night I didn’t think about what I was going to make for dinner till I was on the subway coming home from work. When I got to our apartment I opened the fridge and got inspired as soon as I saw basil. I made lamb burgers topped with sheepsmilk feta and basil with a lovely cumin mayo on the side. I even chopped up a few herbs to mix into the salad I served with it (highly recommend. Takes a simple salad to a different level. I get lazy and skip it often but when I do remember…wow!) Oh, and I’ve now taken two different routes to work (and might take a different one tomorrow since I think I’ll be coming from yoga) and I’m quite close to narrowing down what works best for me.

So turns out life happens (and can even turn out okay) when you don’t plan each step and obsess over every detail. Spending parts of my day imagining or foreshadowing everything that might go wrong on a future day, doesn’t really give me anything. It doesn’t make those future days better or less stressful. I’m not more prepared because I let my mind spin around on the same situation for hours and hours. Really, all that living in the future does is take away from my present. That racing thinking lifts me out of whatever experience is in front of me and keeps me in a place where I’m always looking ahead to the next thing. Living like this, anxiety is inevitable.

I know now that the only way to get better at staying in the present is to practice it–even in the smallest things. Cause really, it’s the everyday stuff that I might gloss over and think is mundane, that ends up blowing my mind when I’m fully there to experience it. Fucking basil! Who knew?

 

 

So glad to be back guys. Let me know, what’s going on with you? Have you had a great run, a good meal? What blew your mind today? Do you ever screw mile 2 cause you’re worried about how you’re gonna complete mile 4? Tell me about it!

 

42 thoughts on “Hello Again

  1. Welcome home: I’ve missed you! I’m getting a BIT better at not watching the clock during yoga and that’s all I’m going to say on that. I definitely wasn’t thinking of anything but the current mile when doing my 16 miler on Monday, though …

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    1. Thanks Liz! I’ve missed you too. 16!! Lady you are incredible. What are you training for now? I am so impressed how you can just stay in training mode like that all the time. My body can’t take it!

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      1. I have an 18 mile race on Saturday! I’m not really in training mode as such, I just like running long and I did have this in my mind so have been gradually increasing. I’m planning a DIY marathon in October round a big long bus route here and around then I’ll hear if I’ve got into London, so it makes sense to me to keep the mileage up rather than having to slog it all the way up again.

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  2. You’re so right – being present really does take practise. Sometimes I’m great at it and sometimes I’m rubbish. I’ve currently got Sunday night dread so now is exactly when I need to start practising – thanks for the reminder!! And I loved following your travels in instagram – you look like you had a brilliant time!

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    1. I am glad you feel like it takes practice too- glad I am not the only one! I feel like people say it all the time “be present be present” but I think when you actually experience doing it it’s something really different. There is a flow to life that is completely unlike what you are able to have worrying about what’s to come.
      Love following your travels as well–and running of course ;). So glad we’ve connected on IG!

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  3. Welcome back! Glad you had such a great time on holiday.

    Love this post. Resonates with me at the moment as I’ve just got through the final big training run before the mighty PUFfeR in three weeks time. With so many climbs on the route it’s been a constant challenge to stay in the current km and not worry about the others. Haven’t always managed it – mind started wandering so much on Saturday I managed to throw in a heavy fall early on – but it’s a principle that has worked when I’ve managed to achieve it.

    Looking forward to a gentle (haha) 4.5 hours on Saturday morning and then I’m tapering – for which I have no plan or method yet…!

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    1. Thanks Nik! So good to be back–I’ve missed you! Reading what you’ve said here about all the climbs and thinking ahead to the next one made me think about part of the reason why I do the same thing (think about the next mile or yoga pose or whatever.) The more I’ve been practicing living in the present, the more I realize that i use looking to the future as a distraction. But it’s actually one that doesn’t work that well–cause I feel crazy in mile 2 while i am thinking about mile 4, and i usually feel a littel crazy at mile 4 as well–so it’s not like it prepared me or anything! I am getting the best practice in yoga–when I stay in just that posture, I am amazed by how much more energy I have. I guess it’s cause i am not taking on more than one pose (or one mile) at a time. The mind is a crazy mysterious thing isn’t it?

      OMG 4.5 hours. I cannot even fathom that right now. You must be proud Nik, it’s so incredible that you do these distances so regularly. Also-I LOVE that you have no plan or method for tapering–that’s what I call staying in the present ;). So good to hear from you Nik, and so great to connect on IG as well! x

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      1. It’s all relative – the 4.5 hours (we did a 4:15 in the end, yay!) seemed short after the 8 hours the previous Saturday haha! Two weeks to go – tonight my taper plan consists of jogging around the time trial with my son. It’s his third 4km effort in as many weeks so he’s very excited!

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  4. Glad you had a good trip Cat! Green is the color of hope so you walked in hope! I constantly have to pull myself back to the present and breathe! Then I have PEACE and my day goes smoother. Why I can’t repeat this daily without a struggle only smacks of being human! But if I did just twice a week, better than not at all. How exciting you are discovering this so early ijn life! Good for you! These messages let me see I am not alone in this…..as stated by Cheech and Chong,”We are all Bozo’s on this Bus!!!” Pat

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    1. Thanks Pat! I am right there with you–pulling myself back into the present is a CONSTANT challenge–it kind of never stops. Really worth it though I think. You are so spot on–that place of living is really where the peace is at!
      PS-Love the Cheech and Chong quote ;). x

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  5. Staying present is the biggest challenge ever, but I am convinced the more we do it, the better our quality of life. So many cultural influences take us away from the present moment but that is where all the magic lies. Kudos to you for allowing yourself to flow and stay exactly where you need to be, honoring your spontaneity and your body’s own rhythm.

    Also, welcome back! I can’t wait to learn more about your trip – hope you post some pics!

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    1. Yes. Quality of life. Also crazy you mentioned the word “flow” cause it’s something I have been learning about in my coaching classes. I was really inspired to write this after Sunday’s class when we talked about living in flow–which wasn’t the absence of obstacles, but just a place where we can get to where we are present and living in our truth and able to use the logical side of our brain to approach what is in front of us without getting thrown. Really interesting stuff. Learning is the best–life gets better! x
      And thanks, happy to be back! x

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  6. The meditation practise has really helped in terms of staying in the moment, or rather noticing when I’m drifting into the future. I don’t think I’ve had any major instances of “screwing mile 2 because I’m focused on mile 4” but there’s definitely times when its in my head, and I’m either going too quick or too slow (thought process: “I need to slow down or I’ll be gassed at mile 4!” or “I need to speed up because I won’t be able to make up the time during mile 4!”).

    Was great to follow your travels on Instagram! Its another reminder that there are some beautiful places on my doorstep that I ought to visit!

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    1. It’s interesting Paul cause the nature of running (especially long distance) has a lot of looking ahead built into it. Of course we can’t just go all out at mile 2 if our plan is to get to a mile 10. It’s a good challenge for me to find the balance between planning everything and living in some kind of flow and rolling with the tide. I think I am going to try a bit of an experiment on Sunday if it works out. I am gonna do a “longer” run with my hubs (neither of us is running very long right now so I imagine it will be anything from 5-8 miles). Anyway, a lot of times when I run with him I make him slow down because he tends to start out faster and I always fear we are gonna be gassed before we want to finish. But I am thinking this Sunday I might try and hold my tongue, and just hang on with him, and see if I can push myself into a new pace and tempo. I think it will be a lot about finding my breath. I do it when I try to do tempos on the treadmill so I don’t see why I can’t try to adjust and push myself here as well and just sort of see what I am capable of minute by minute that day. I will let you know how it goes!

      So glad we have connected on IG–had so much fun having you along for the ride ;).

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    1. Thank you lady! So glad to keep up with you on IG now as well–your runs inspire me and your doggies are the sweetest <3.
      I definitely think reiterating to myself that this moment is really all I have is big! Why sweat the next thing when it's not even ours yet, right?

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  7. Staying in the moment. Living with intention. They are powerful states for living. Yes, as you shared, hard to do at the beginning. But can be accomplished with practice. Thank you for sharing. Right away I thought of the book / movie “Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Thanks so much J, I will have to check out the Peaceful Warrior–I like the sound of that. I also agree with the idea that staying present is something we have to practice–right now it’s a moment by moment thing for me but I am hoping with a little more time I’ll move to hour by hour and maybe even day by day. Progress, not perfection ;). Thanks for stopping by, so happy to have you!

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      1. I think you will like it. Reading your posts just reminded me of some of the same ideas in that book / movie. You share such deep insightful ideas. I enjoyed reading. Look forward to more posts.

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    1. Haha, thanks Hanna! I am enjoying following you on IG as well and getting a little glimpse into your world ;). Also, your running pics inspire me to get my ass outside!
      I have to agree with you 100% that weekends are not long enough–but idk–I escaped the dread last weekend, I’m gonna go for #2 if I can this coming one (not that I am planning or anything, totally staying in the moment ;)).

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  8. Welcome home Cat! So glad you had a great time and look forward to reading about your adventures. I loved this post. This is one of the biggest challenges most of us face. It is easy to say “stay in the moment” but putting into practice is another thing. I loved that you were able to pull yourself back to your body during your yoga class and even more so that it benefited you way beyond that hour on the mat. Yay for an awesome run too! (I miss that so much, oh well…the knees don’t) 🙂 The salad sounds amazing btw! Have a wonderful day…moment by moment!
    Maggie

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    1. Thanks Maggie! So good to hear from you, I’ve missed you!
      Exactly,–it’s so easy to say it right, it’s become such a wellness mantra “stay in the moment”, but I think actually practicing it is really different. In this class I am taking the teacher was talking about being “in flow” and I think staying in the moment is what is really key to that. When you aren’t preoccupied on the past or the future and you energy is just going to the next right thing in front of you–things can feel easy (even when they are hard) cause you are in flow. I want me some flow so willing to do some work to get there!

      Have a great day Maggie–so happy to be back and to reconnect with you! x

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  9. Good to have you back chick 😁 can’t wait to hear how your visit to our Island went, you picked a cracking three weeks to visit! Loved all the instagram pics, you found some awesome spots.

    Your post has helped me refocus this morning, I’ve been jumping ahead too much lately and it’s very unlike me, I’ve always been an ‘in the moment’ girl, so reigning that shit back in 😂 big love x

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  10. I was just thinking the other day that I missed you and you should be back soon from your holiday:)
    Staying in the moment is definitely a difficult thing for me to do. I’ll have to practice some of what you talk about:)

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  11. Welcome back! Great insights! I am a fairly in the moment person, well sometimes, but it’s hard not to start planning the weekend long run well ahead of Saturday! I’ll have to go back and check out your IG photos. I was on vacation last weekend and still getting back into life. Will hopefully write about it soon.

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    1. Thank you lady!! Hope you enjoyed your vacation–can’t wait to head over to your blog and catch up. And i know what you mean about planning the runs–I just think for me taking a step back from all the planning for a bit is useful to build that live in the present moment. I have been surprised at how much stuff still kind of goes okay!
      So nice to hear from you! x

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