Wow life can be busy, amazing, draining but energising all at the same time! And all of a sudden we reach December 2012 and it naturally becomes the time to reflect on everything we have been doing, and all that is ahead in 2013.
In the world of running and yoga, LRY took part in two major events here on Oahu: The XTerra Trail Running Champs and the Honolulu Marathon, and also ended the first season of yoga-for-runners in Moiliili.
At the start of the XTerra Trail Running Champs on Dec 2nd, Hawaiian Priest and cultural practitioner Clifford Nao`ele delivered a poignant blessing:
“Be thankful for who you are today, and who you will be tomorrow.”
The phrase became my mantra during the 21km trail race, and at moments when I was feeling pretty tried – it spurred me on. During a post-race digest with my sister, she also said the blessing had become a source of inspiration for her during the run, and we realised how lucky we were to be able to run in Ka’a’awa valley – a sacred place that was once the training ground for the youth of Hawaiian Royalty, as they prepared to become warriors.
Fast forward to this weekend, and the Honolulu Marathon. I was running (in a taco costume) to fundraise for Girls on the Run of Hawaii, a new branch of the well established non-profit. Again, the words from Clifford Nao`ele rang through my ears, especially as I ran through the China Town section of the route with so many friends from the Hawaii running community. A special mention must go to Dave Carlsson of The Hawaii Running Project who is running 26 marathons for 26 days in December, to raise awareness about health and social problems. You can read about how to join ’26 For 26′ on Jason Lester’s website HERE.
For most people living on Oahu, the tradewinds are the reason why we get out of bed in the morning (they keep humidity down and keep the VOG levels low), but the irony for runners is that a head wind can seriously slow you down, which even elite runners agree with. And on Sunday morning the winds were back! Thankfully the wind did not take hold of the taco costume, and I was very grateful to my running partner/ sister for sticking with me over the long out & back section of the course (which included being told to, “think of Chrissie Wellington” during a rough patch at mile 22). There was also excellent support from the hundreds of volunteers at the water/ aid stations, and all the people who had come out to line the highway and roads closer to the finish at Kapiolani Park. Crossing the finish line in 3:24 was a huge relief, but it was also a great feeling to know that I had run 26.2 miles and raised some funds for Girls on the Run of Hawaii.
At Yoga-for-Runners class on Monday night we spent a delightful hour following a routine of gentle hip openers and restorative yoga poses. It was the last class before Christmas and a chance to reflect on how far we had travelled during the course of preparing for, and running the marathon, in body, mind & spirit.
After a big event like a marathon it’s quite easy as a runner to lapse into a frame of mind that is ‘over-comparative’: Why didn’t I run faster? And even as a yoga-practitioner there are moments when you think: Why can’t I bend further? But as I write on this post on the 12th day, of the 12 month, in the 12th year of this millenium, with a few days to go until the end of the Mayan Calendar, maybe we just need to be content, as Clifford Nao’ele said, thankful – for who we are today, and who we will be tomorrow.
Namaste and Happy Trails.