Letting Go

19 Feb

I started out my run along the San Luis Ray River trail this morning feeling optimistic and full of energy. The weather was perfect, and I quickly settled into what I thought was a comfortably fast pace. My Garmin decided to tell me otherwise though, and when I looked down at my wrist, 8:40 min/mile glared back at me from the screen. This can’t be possible, I thought, so I broke into a semi-sprint. 8:20 min/mile. While this isn’t a slow pace by any means, it was considerably slower than I was used to, and I could feel myself getting frustrated. I pushed myself to an all-out effort, and yet my pace barely budged. Then it began jumping between 7:45 and 8:45. For the entire first half of the run, the pace seemed completely wrong, and no matter how many times I tried to adjust my speed and check again, I realized that either my watch or my body was way off. At the halfway point 7.5 miles into the run, I decided to take it off.

I felt incredibly strange at first. My Garmin has become my running partner, and I honestly can’t remember a time when it wasn’t strapped to my wrist. I kept looking down at my empty hand, and when I realized that I could no longer think about time, I suddenly felt light and free. It was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders (or in this case, my wrist), and everything began to change. I settled into my pace again, and this time I could feel it. I didn’t need a watch to tell me I was hauling. I needed to be watch-less, however, to enjoy the breeze at my back and the egret flying across the trail. I got lost in music and time and space, and I escaped myself.

It was such a simple thing, this little watch, but to me it was much more than that. It was the realization that sometimes it’s necessary to break down barriers, to let go of the things that confine and hold us back from truly enjoying life. My Garmin has taught me quite a lot over the years, like not going out to fast and holding a steady pace until the end, but I realized that these things are a part of me now. When I get out there, my legs will know what to do, and the rest of me can be fully present in the run and everything around me.

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