The short version: Meditation is a game-changer.
The longer version ...
So as a stiff, fidgety old dog who just entered his 38th year of running, I've been fiddling around with meditation since March, and decided to go all in for my birthday month of May to see where it might lead me.
A solid 28 days later, some observations ...
• It's absolutely fabulous and mind-expanding to get so completely lost in space during meditation that I feel myself floating on each breath.
• 10 to 15 minutes whoosh past in no time when I focus first on my breath and then next on whatever thoughts pop into my consciousness.
• Routine mechanical things -- knotted cords, lawn mower stuff, changing the bag in my vacuum cleaner -- that once brought me such frequent frustration are no big deal now. Meditation is helping me see that you can't solve a problem while giving yourself a rash of shit for being an idiot. No big deal for most. Huge big deal for me. So freeing.
• State of Chill only comes to me when I am not trying to grasp it.
• I am sleeping so. much. better. I rarely have trouble with falling asleep or staying asleep, but this meditation thing has taken sleep to a whole new, wonderful place.
• My patience outside of meditation is, at least for now, at an all-time high. Circumstances that typically aggravate me get noticed, observed with curiosity, then pushed aside. I'm intrigued to see what happens during high school basketball ref season this winter.
• Meditation saved my recent 72-hour race. Combo of being a little off in the heat Day 1 and then oversleeping by two hours gave me zero chance of making my dream goal of 216 miles. Dejected, I scooched my ass out of my tent at sunrise Friday and -- bam -- found myself in the appropriate half-lotus position that's become my meditation friend. Some 10 minutes later, the message was clear — get moving, go have fun, make new buddies and give somebody a helping hand. Oh, and learn some new tricks for the years to come. Check, check, check and BIG check. Final tally of 185 miles is my third best among tmy five 72s. And I had a blast. Very nice save, indeed.
• I'm finding great joy in the little things. How I can do 10 more push-ups in a given set if I focus on relaxing my cheeks. How it feels when my fingers dance across my laptop keys. The kiss of a cool morning breeze on my cheeks. The glint of a sunrise off my neighbor's bird feeder. My footfalls when running. Meditation is re-connecting me with my inner kid.
Will I keep it up? Yes. Every day? Not sure about that, but I think it's safe to say that I am a convert.
And that I'm intrigued to see where this leads.