Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Oh, hi there. I haven’t written written in a little while. I think it’s because I’m “suffering” from a few super-fun-weekends-in-a-row funk and maybe a little bit because I’m a few weeks out from Wanderlust and feeling a little bit wanderlusty. I get this way sometimes. Do you? In the valley after such tippy-top peaks, I’m restless for another adventure, to travel, to make myself better. Then, lost in my daydreams, I find myself a little bit stuck. So many options! What’s the right fit? Where do I go from here? The jittery uncertainty translates into too much thinking and not enough doing.

Doing some reading online earlier this week, I came across this article about how “edge events” actually transform your life and lead to huge opportunities. Edge events, in my opinion at least, are like casually knocking down the first domino, except the trail of dominoes is a path so long and winding that the end might not even be visible from where you stand. It’s like the Ray Bradbury story, “A Sound of Thunder.” Straying from a path even slightly can change the course of history.

Five years ago it was going to a Red Sox game with a group of industry colleagues I didn’t know (I really didn’t want to go), introducing myself to people, buying a round of beers (doesn’t hurt!), and agreeing to meet up with one guy in particular during a trip to California a few weeks later. Yada-yada-yada, we got married. Imagine if I had been shy or not gone at all? Edge event.

What I liked most about the article was that it’s a nice little reminder, especially when I’m feeling kind of blue, to keep my eyes open, keep participating, and to be kind. When you interact with any other person, the writer instructs, the first words that should come to mind should be help this person. What a fantastic motivator and way to ensure perpetual karma as a side benefit.

Today, hundreds — perhaps thousands — of people will pass through the edges of your life, he says. These interactions are at the very edge of probability, but they happen every day.

To me, the best part is that by noticing and paying attention and engaging with these people, we open ourselves up to countless possibilities. By making a choice and concerted effort to help people, or even just to see someone, hear someone, and pay attention completely, we are granted the opportunity to shift the mundane and everyday to the miraculous.

Of course they won’t all lead to a new relationship just because you go to a baseball game. But I think about attending the vinyasa class in which I won tickets to Wanderlust. I recognize the cause and effect of sitting through a lecture with Gabrielle Bernstein and realizing that everything I thought about mantra and affirmation and meditation may have been wrong all along and then, weeks later, being able to share that with a friend who is suffering. Or finally, sharing a knowing glance of suffering, and then laughter in a kundalini class leading to a short, but powerful conversation with a stranger (who, it turns out is not only gorgeous, kind and insightful, but multi-talented and awe-some).

I guess some of this is obvious, but I’ve been sitting around stewing for a few weeks now and this is the stuff that bounces around in there. When it comes down to it and especially when you feel stuck in a rut: help people, be kind, have compassion.

Anyway, do you know that rocking thing they do in the beginning of a yoga class to move from the floor to standing forward bend? The whole class moves at their own pace, forward and back, forward and back, until the launch themselves (smoothly, cleanly, seamlessly) into a standing position? It’s like that. Except sometimes my transition is still a little bumpy and unbalanced.

Time to start rockin’.