My First Week of Running is Complete!

The challenge I decided to tackle for the beginning of 2023 is the C25K (Couch to 5 Km) app. This morning I completed the first week of this 9 week challenge!

I first heard of this free app at the beginning of the pandemic. However, my dog Charlie Bow was entering her elderly years and the running was a little too much for her. I made the choice that I’d rather walk with her than run alone with the time we had left together. The challenge could wait till another season of my life.

Recently, we adopted another dog, King Tucker. He is also a senior, but still an energetic 9-year-old. I thought we could experiment with him being my running buddy.

Running has always been a challenge for me. Yet, it has also been a goal to run 5km, or maybe even more. In my wildest dreams, I envision completing a triathlon. For the last several weeks as we walked, I told King Tucker, “On January 3rd we start running.”

The C25K app has you begin with a 30-minute workout. You start with a 5-minute warmup. Then you begin 8 rounds with 1 minute of running, and 1 minute 30 seconds of walking. You complete the workout with a 5-minute cooldown.

I could have had lots of excuses -Who starts running in January in Saskatchewan? It’s cold and windy. I could wait till June – I don’t have a proper coat for running (or any running gear) -My hat keeps moving about my head as I try to run -King Tucker is still new to our family and we are still working on his leash manners -I want to go at 7 am, but it is still dark that time of day right now

I could have had lots of excuses, but made up my mind NO EXCUSES!

And, so we just did it. We did it in my long wool coat and winter boots. We did it in the wind and cold and frost. We did it despite King Tucker not completely understanding the idea that we run for 1 minute and walk for 90 seconds. We did it despite King Tucker’s preference to track area deer. We even kept doing it after running into a coyote on the second morning.

We adapted and changed and let go of expectations. We now wait a little later in the morning so if we do run into wildlife it is daylight. I have discovered the value of good pair of long johns. Today I will hunt around the house for a balaclava to prepare for next week.

I’m slow, and I’m sure my form is lacking. I do worry about what the neighbours might think as I trot along.

But, it is worth it. I am placing myself in the way of beauty as we run with the setting moon to the west and the rising sun to the east. I am witnessing the beauty of January morning laden with hoar frost. I am bonding with a new friend. And, I am finally tackling a long-held goal.

Wintering

Yesterday was the winter solstice. I had wanted to write about the importance of wintering. Yet, I spent the day rushing around checking things off my to-do list.

In embodiment, we often talk about cycles or the four seasons. The idea is that there is a season for everything. Spring is the time of planning and prepping. Summer is the time of doing. Autumn is the time when we finish doing. Winter is the time of not doing.

Sometimes the cycles in our lives align with seasons in nature. Sometimes they don’t. Often, we are stronger in some seasons, but find others more challenging. We may be in different seasons in different areas of our life all at the same time.

Since I first was introduced to the four seasons in an embodiment context I have been more deliberate in how I approach my time. I have become comfortable with accepting that to everything there is a season. I have gained clarity on what seasons are easy for me, and what seasons can be more challenging.

As the natural world enters winter in the northern hemisphere I am finding myself also ready for some wintering. I am in need of not doing. Words such as rest, nourish, nurture, cozy, and sleep keep appearing in my daily journal.

At my yoga studio, folks would sometimes apologize for missing class stating that they had been so tired. I always encouraged them that they never needed to apologize for listening to their body and taking rest. Yet, there are parts of our society that discourage rest. We’re told we should work hard and play harder. Burnout seems a badge of honour to some. People brag about how many hours they are grinding.

Working with peers in embodiment we often noticed that winter was the most challenging season for many. Folks were great at tackling big projects. Then, as soon as they were finished they hopped right to the next. I can be this way. Some people never winter.

But, I am here to share another message. There is something deeply refreshing and rejuvenating to give yourself the gift of winter. Everyone’s circumstances vary, but can you carve out some time for rest, relaxation, and doing nothing over the next month?

Over the past few years, I have learned that the more I honour my times of winter the more I am at peace and the more I can return to my spring feeling vibrant and energized.

The holidays are busy. They can be fun, but can also be challenging. Taking some time to fill your own cup this holiday season with the beautiful gift of a little wintering might be just what your soul needs.

Weekly Challenge—Week 2

I love keeping a gratitude journal. I have been keeping one for decades and credit it for helping me have a deep appreciation in my life regardless of the outer circumstances.

When I first learned about gratitude journals it was suggested to do them in the evening. However, I find first thing in the morning works better for me.

I would challenge anyone to try keeping one for 60 days and see what you discover.

Namaste

52 Week Challenge

Whether you come to my classes or not, I invite you to join in this 52 week challenge for body, mind and soul.

You can take the challenge for yourself, or you can like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LivingSkyYoga and each day you finish the challenge pop an emoji in the comments. Each time a person does the challenge their name is entered into a draw at the end of the month.

This week we start with a movement challenge. Some people dread exercise, but I firmly believe movement should be FUN

See if you can find some fun ways to move your body and start the year right.