Relax. Nothing is under control.

By: Alie Columbus

Birds on power lines with foothills in background
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

“Relax. Nothing is under control.”

Adi Da

This quote was shared with me recently by a dear friend. I have begun to make it my mantra as each week seems to bring a new set of accepted normallacies to our culture. Like many others, I have found more gratitude from the adjustments to daily life, short term goals, and long term goals as well. 

I had 2020 all figured out. I had registered and planned my year of races that would challenge me, help me grow, give time for recovery between, and then amp me back up to achieve the goal of the next one. Like most others in our running community, as races started to be canceled, I found myself feeling rebellious and wanting to create groups that would literally ‘run rogue.’ It didn’t take very long to realize that taking the pressure off such a packed year meant more time to work on myself in more important ways that I had been neglecting. Running was becoming a constant challenge of hitting goals I felt required of myself and I lost patience with my own healing, recovery, as well as the targeted growth. 

As a society, we are only into this shift in our lives a few weeks and I imagine we have a long way to go yet. However, every run I get out for, I am more grateful to be outside doing it. I appreciate the spring flowers along the trail side, the seasonal birds returning, and the shift in the air. I went to a favorite spot last weekend for a hilly trail loop and brought my running partner (think 4 paws, a waggy tail, and a tongue hanging out of his smile). I had been working on bettering his manners during runs off leash. But last weekend, I began to wonder if each run would be our last outside run together. I took a step back- both in his training and from my goals for him/us. I wanted us both to just share pure joy and gratitude for the day. 

Having some of those races canceled, allowed me to delve deeper into what brought me to running and what kept me there. I started running to support a friend and challenge myself a bit. I stayed running because it took me to places in and outside of myself that are very reflective  yet also an escape. I stayed running because of the community and friends made along the way. I stayed running because I love the challenge of doing something you never thought possible before. And mostly, I stayed running because the views are freakin’ phenomenal!!!

Finding quiet within and taking the opportunity to hang out with who should be my own best friend (myself) has been enlightening . Do I miss gathering for a meal with friends, running as a group on the greenbelt and trails, HUGS? Absolutely, I do. 

“Nothing is under control”. Isn’t it a relief to not have to strive to make that balance happen but, rather to let it happen?! It is amazing what happens when we accept and appreciate every moment. 

I wish everyone health inside and out and look forward to our time together again soon. Meanwhile, be strong within yourself, weak to lose your joy and hope, and balanced throughout. 

~Alie

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