Wednesday 22 July 2015

Be Here

Be Here

Sometimes I think that I am quite a miser.  I am a miser when it comes to expending my energy.  I am always saving myself for the some future run.

Earlier today I decided to do some hard 400 meter intervals; about 10 of them.  Now I know that the idea is to do all 10 of the repeats with about the same intensity.  So I started cautiously because I know that I need to make my energy last for the full session. 

About half way through the session I started thinking about tomorrows run.  Tomorrow I plan to run with my MIG Top gear group.  It is supposed to be an easy run day. But they all run faster than me.  So when I start with them, I need to hold onto the slowest of them for dear life.

The thought of tomorrows run made me cut down on my intensity today.  I felt that I need to save my energy for tomorrow.   So I did my 400 meter repeats at an intensity which was less than my best.  I gave this some thought after I finished my work out.  I realize that I have seen myself doing this once too often.

During a work-out, I start thinking of the work-outs to follow in the rest of the week and in order to do those future work-outs in decent shape, I decide to cut the intensity of the work-out at hand.

I slow down NOT because I am fatigued or injured or sick or feeling unwell.  I slow down simply because I am worried about my next run.   To change or indeed cancel a work out because of illness, fatigue or injury is the right and proper thing to do.  But I start deciding to lower the intensity of my workout simply to save myself for the future.  I decide to hoard my energy for the future.    

I sacrifice the present for the future.

I do this even at the gym.  I sometimes don’t a hard leg work out with weights because I am afraid that the leg work-out will leave my legs sore for the next run.  So I do less leg strengthening than what I am capable of doing.   But then I find that in the next run, I again save myself for the run to follow.  I consequently don’t do any work out at its correct intensity. 

I am therefore never ‘Total’.  

I never bring my entire energy into any single workout.  I am always divided.  I am always saving myself for the future workouts.

A few (not many) of my friends have the opposite issue. 

I have noticed that they can’t slow down.  They push in every single workout.  They push on a slow run they push on a recovery day. They can’t cut their volume.  They even push on a rest day.  They simply can’t relax on a day they have earmarked for relaxation.  They don’t take it easy even when unwell or injured. 

In my opinion, both these behaviours cause problems.  Just as I can’t run at my full potential because I don’t push when I’m supposed to push, they can’t perhaps push to the extent they are truly capable of pushing because they don’t slow down when they are supposed to slow down.    

The problem is two sides of the same coin.  Both are continuously looking into the future.

Osho tells the story of Rinzai. 

“One day Rinzai a Zen Master was working in his garden and somebody approached. The man had come to ask some philosophical questions. He was a philosophical seeker.
He didn't know that the man who was working in the garden was Rinzai himself. He thought he must be a gardener, a servant, so he asked, "Where is Rinzai?"

Rinzai said, "Rinzai is always here."

Of course, the man thought that this gardener seemed to be mad because he said that Rinzai was always here. So he thought it would not be good to ask anything of this man again and he started moving off to ask someone else.

Rinzai said, "Don't go anywhere, because you will not find him anywhere. He is always here." But he escaped from this madman.

Then he inquired from others and they said, "The first man you met is Rinzai." So he came back and said, "Forgive me, I am sorry, I thought you were mad. I have come to inquire about something. I want to know what truth is. What should 

I do to know it?" Rinzai said, "Do whatsoever you want to do, but do it entirely."

“The point is not what you do. The point is that you do it entirely”.

I find that I never always ‘here’. I am always divided between the workout I am doing and the work out that is about to follow the next day or the next week.  

Sometimes, I cut down distance to save my energy for the next run.  Sometimes, I avoid certain sections of the road because the gradient may take away my energy for the run to follow.  I keep compromising the current workout for the future workout.

Consequently perhaps, I never reach my full potential. If I want to improve, each run should be only about itself. 

A recovery run must be a recovery run, a speed interval must be a speed interval, a tempo run should be a tempo run, a long hilly run must be a long hilly run.  A rest day must be a rest day.  A day where I must expend every ounce of my energy should be a day when I expend every ounce of my energy.  On such a day, I should save nothing.  I must do each run with the intensity it deserves. 

“The point is not what you do each day. The point is that you do it ENTIRELY”

(I asked my friends at Mig Top Gear, Chitra Nadkarni and Dilip Patil, if they ever faced this issue.  

My problem sounded alien to both. “No”, they replied in unison, “We run hard only on days when we’re supposed to run hard. 3 days a week”.  

I thought about what they said.  I glad that the world is a simpler place for some.  I'm glad that at least some people in this world are right where they are supposed to be.  

I hope to get there being Here)

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