Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Force Is With You

Lately I've been doing so much Yoga, going to the gym no longer feels like a chore. I think holding Asanas like the Warrior One for 20 breathes has really strengthened my quads and the Monday morning Guided Meditation sessions have tremendously improved my concentration. The only form of exercise I have ever found painful is running. Not physically painful, but whenever I hit the second or third mile my mind begins asking legitimate, yet impeding questions, "Why are you doing this? What is the point of running on this treadmil?"

Runner's talk about the "Runner's High," and why they are madly in love with running. The only runner's high I've ever felt is after my longest run ever-- 9 miles two years ago--I was elated when the run was finished! Somehow I think there was a disconnect in the definition for me.

Recently, I've been listening to this amazing mix c.d that my good friend, Sab, made for me eight years ago. It's full of up-tempo Soca music and it keeps me motivated while running. Yesterday I couldn't find my ipod or my headphones. I was convinced I was doomed and there would be no way I could last on the treadmil beyond 5 minutes without music. To my surprise, a captivating show on ESPN (I read the captions since I had no headphones) held my attention during my entire run and I was able to make it with no music at all.

The story on ESPN was about a high school kid named Dylan Reboer who was deeply dedicated to his football team. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with terminal Colon cancer. His belief in his team and himself, however, was so great that eventually his spirits uplifted all the players so much they ended up winning the State Championship title for the first time in 58 years!

As I watched this emotional report including an interview with Dylan's mom, teammates and best friend, I got choked up during my run. A huge knot in my neck formed and a tear streamed down my right cheek unintentionally. All of a sudden, my regular three-mile run was over, as was the program, but out of nowhere I felt a surge of energy. I thought about the fight Dylan had to go through... that so many victims of cancer must face... and I was overwhelmed by a sudden sense of internal power. The power, I realized was not within my ipod, the Soca music, Dylan's story or any other external factor. The force was and is within me. Always.

Arthur Osborne edited a wonderful book entitled The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in which the Sage of Arunachala states, "The Guru is the Self." I think I finally understand what he meant.

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