A Purposeful Pride
Today, I ran... approximately four and a half miles, I think. I planned on three, but as I turned the corner at about the 2 mile mark, I met up with a couple of multi-marathoners (these ladies are committed and have completed marathons in all 50 states!!)
...and so, NOT wanting to be humiliated... and NOT wanting to wimp out... I ran along with them, talked with them as I ran... pushing myself to stay with them for approximately a mile. Thankfully, I was already warmed up and could keep up. We weren't running extremely fast, but still, I was delighted to be able to jog along with these fine female runners.
As I turned toward home, I felt immensely grateful that my pride wouldn't let me give up... that pride which pushed me to do what I wouldn't normally have elected to do.. that I wouldn't normally have thought I could do... I was SO thankful that I did not entirely embarrass myself, for you see, I used to be a fairly fast runner... but, with the knee injury I have been off the trail for quite some time... and it's a long way back!
Life is funny. Pride often gets a bad rap. I like to think that pride is an awfully good personality characteristic (when not taken too far) - it gives us incentive to do our best... to push ourselves harder for a nobel cause - it creates a sense of personal dignity as reward for our efforts. This proved true today on my morning run.
The same can be said of singing. Lately, I have been rehearsing some fairly difficult music. One selection proposes a great challenge for me... the tessitura is extremely high and the passages consist of long phrases, each of which need to "float!" (Bellezza della voce!) I'm quite sure I haven't been challenged this much vocally in many years... Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" requires full body strength, to say the least!
But, as I work on this terrific music, I have a deep incentive to do my best... to push myself harder for a noble cause - to feel the sense of personal dignity as reward for my effort. Once again, it's pride that pushes me and will not allow me to give up. And it's fun!
So I've been thinking that running and singing are very similar:
Each require mental toughness.
Both present a physical challenge.
It's helpful to have some degree of talent for these two physical activities, but all can learn and improve.
Muscle tone and muscle memory are developed in each.
Both enhance physical endurance over time.
Form is essential for either and will produce excellent results.
For me... I need a good dose of protein before running or singing so that I'll have energy enough for the task.
Endorphins are released in the body, both during and after these two activities occur.
Each result in a grounded - centeredness of the mind, body, and spirit, which encourages relaxation and lowers anxiety.
When emotional pain wreaks havoc on our psyche, running and singing bring a physical release like none other!
... I could go on... the similarities are vast!
Running and singing deliver a purposeful kind of living. One that creates self-worth, authentic pride... it takes a lot of effort from us and in turn gives back a sense of completeness... of beauty.
So, great effort gives great reward!
That's why I run. That's why I sing.
That's all my ramblings for today! I am thankful for the music and for the trail!
La ~ Ti ~ Do! (on some really high notes...)