Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Run

This morning I woke up at around 5:15 am. This was because my upstairs neighbors were noisy, but mostly it's because of stress. We Hedengrens get insomnia from the other direction. None of this stress is that big--it's not like "how am I going to feed my babies?" stress or anything, but there's a lot and of different kinds.

Some of my stress is "good stuff happening" stress: visiting my brother, getting a visit from a friend, throwing an awesome Halloween party, getting invited to many good activities, planning a huge trip to Morocco.

Some of my stress is stress I've brought on myself, chickens coming home to roost, and are also pretty good: my novel's finishing up, I got a revise and resubmit on an article and an "accept with revisions" on a short story (I know, right?), and I'm applying to academic jobs as a "practice run." On top of this, I have all of these goals I set for myself, the number of hours of service I'd like to provide this semester, the the effort I'd like to make to be more friendly, even my desire to be more low-key and focus on those around me.

And, granted, some of my stress is bad: I'm helping friends through some rough times, my hard drive needs to be replaced, I haven't worked on my dissertation in weeks, and I've gained 4 lbs.

So it's nice to get up a go for a run, especially when I'm stressed. But because of good-stress visits, I didn't want to wake up my friend in the living room, so I couldn't find my phone (turns out I left it in my car), so I just took my house key and ran.

I just ran.

This was the first run where I haven't been doing anything but running since...maybe a year? I wasn't running a shelter dog who becomes more obedient with exercise. I wasn't earning money by betting against other people not going running. I wasn't  saving the fictional town of Abel from zombies. I wasn't even tracking my time and speed. I was just running.

It was perfect weather. Cool, but by no means cold, fresh, you know? The sky was just brightening, that bright, light purple blue, when I started, and goldened into a sunrise as I rounded the loop (which I know, from those previous runs, is around 3.78 miles. Give or take.) There weren't too many cars on the road, but there were two dog walkers and a woman smoking a cigarette at the bus stop. I told them, "Good morning," kind of because of my goal to be more friendly, but also because I was feeling good morning. It was a good run. My legs never got sore and I would kick my pace up a few times so I could feel it a little more in my lungs, but I never had to gasp and I never got cramps. I just felt great.

I kind of wish I had my phone to take a picture of this morning, but that would have ruined it. Even blogging about this kind of ruins it. It was just a run. It was good.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Blazon: My Awesome Body

So in light of the great talk in General Conference by Elder Nelson on bodies, I'd like to give a little shout out to my own body, which is pretty remarkable. I love the doctrine that body and spirit are soul and that our use of our bodies can determine our destinies. I like my body. Here are some specifics.

These are my legs. I'm very proud of them lately because when I went for a bike ride Saturday night, I fell trying to maneuver around a small child in the road. and do you know what my legs did? They got up. Nay, they sprang up and got on the bike again almost instantly. You may notice the bandaid on my left knee. I scraped a bit there and there's a bruise on my other leg and I didn't even notice until well into my ride. This, incidentally, is not the first time my remarkable legs have sprung up after a fall; just a couple of weeks ago, the exact same thing happened after I tripped on a root while running. Well done, legs, well done.

This is my right thumb. It's possible that I fractured my right thumb in December. Maybe I just tore or strained the soft tissue. But you know what? Even if I fractured it--my body knows how to heal itself! Crazy, huh? But my right thumb has gotten stronger and stronger and it doesn't really hurt anymore. It just gets better.

This is my waist. I didn't used to have a waist. You may notice how nicely it goes it and then out again. But then I ate healither and worked out more often and then--boom--a waist. This goes back to Eld. Nelson again because it took a lot of self-mastery to get here. Eld Nelson pointed out that no one managed their appetites perfectly and this is true of me. For instance, I just barely ate a big plate of pad thai. But we can still change. In fact, with prayer and the Atonement, we can change our very desires. I always hope my desires for raw cookie dough and Southeast Asian food will lesson.

But guess what? These are my fingernails. I have long been a biter and tearer of my nails, to the point where on the urging of one companion, I bought the nail polish that tastes bitter. But I still tore them. Until last year, around August, and that's when it changed. I don't know why, but I just stopped biting my nails. I was able to clean them better or something. Or I knew I was going to be seeing my mom and wanted to impress her with my non-bitten nails. Not that I don't sometimes still tear them, especially when I'm writing, but I used to only have nails over the quick and now it's typical for me to have all that little white tips. My desires have changed in terms of nail biting.

Hurrah for the body, my awesome body, and my connection to and support from this half of my soul.