Exercise, Fitness, Mental Health


I started this post wanting to talk about meditation, but found myself consistently bringing the conversation back to running. Finally something clicked. I think something within me was trying to tell me, or rather, remind me, that running for me is meditative.

I am on vacation this week! I was very lucky that I was able to coordinate time between my old job ending, my new job starting, and Orioles baseball spring training! I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it this year, but we made it! I’m so thankful for it too, because not only do I get baseball in March, but I also have plenty of time to decompress from my previous job.

During this week off, I’m trying to get back into running! I figured that while I have warm weather, I can get back into the swing of things. Basically, my plan is to train for a 10k, then continue training for the half marathon. That way, I can scratch my goal for 2014 off my list too, to run a 10k!

On top of my goals to get back into running, I am also trying to establish my meditation practice. A regular meditation practice has been a goal of mine for awhile now, but I keep making the excuse of not having time. Starting this new job, my daily routine is going to be completely flipped. No longer will I have time to exercise in the morning (unless I want to wake up at 4:00 AM and, let’s be real, that ain’t happening). So now, my schedule will look something like this: wake up, yoga + meditation, breakfast, shower, work, and exercise in the evening. Because I will be arriving at work around 7:30 in the morning, I’ll be getting home around 4 or 4:30, so exercising in the evening won’t be bad at all! Also, as I will be adding mileage to my runs, having flexibility on time actually makes more sense.

This is the point when I realized / remembered that running has been meditative to me. And it actually makes me so much more excited to start running longer distances.

Who am I?

On to the point of this post.

Meditation is a great way to de-stress and connect with something bigger.

I know many people are not interested in meditation because they don’t know what to do, or they don’t see the value in it, or they try, don’t think they’re “doing it right,” get frustrated and quit.

Here’s the thing about meditation. There isn’t just one “right” way to do it.

A couple years ago, I was traveling through Thailand, and one of the stops along the way was at a Buddhist monastery. While at this monastery, the group I was traveling with and I were mentored by a monk that lived there. In the three or four days we were there, he guided us through a couple different forms of meditation. The first was the more “traditional” idea of meditation, relaxing the body and clearing the mind, through his guided talk. Another night we did walking meditation, focusing on the feeling of the ground under our feet. One day at lunch, he encouraged us to meditate while eating, focusing on every bite, every texture of the foods we ate, every flavor, every swallow. On our last night, we tried a love based mediation, in which we focused our thoughts on spreading love to people close to us, spreading to those we weren’t connected with, and finally to those we felt… well, the opposite of love for.

My point is, there are so many types of meditation, that there is no wrong way to do it. You have to find the way that works for you.

Who out there has an established practice? What do you do? I’d love to hear any other forms that you practice and how it’s been effective for you!


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