I had a very odd dream the other night.
I dreamt I could sing. And not the auto-tune-me-now-I-can-sing kind of sing, but the belt out-loud-this-is-my-real-voice-Grammy-winner kind of sing.
There I was, standing up on this stage and someone handed me a microphone and I just started singing.
I looked about as shocked as everyone else around me when I heard my voice because in my dream I had no clue I could actually sing. And, don't ask me what I was singing.....I have no clue. But I had a big grin on my face and it sounded good, kinda bluesy Nina Simone like I think.
I woke up completely puzzled and like I do with any dream that puzzles me, I started overanalyzing every small thing that my subconscious needed to process.
Do I have a new amazing gift of song? (sang a few bars, um nope, still need the auto-tuner.)
Does Thom want me to join the choir?
Did I fall asleep with the TV on?
Must be symbolic or something.
The dream was just after I finished the Maine Coast Women's Half-Marathon and just before my church's amazing healing service. So there was a lot going on up in the 'ol noggin last week.
I mentioned in a previous post about some unresolved cross-country hurts; and not the physical kind. I think this dream was another reminder that I'm resolving them. Ok, it might be a stretch - singing, running, healing.....But I do tend to sing when I run (did I just admit that?) and I seemed to be quite happy in the dream.
The thing is, running didn't always bring me joy. In fact, I hated it. I wasn't good at it. Running made me feel like I was inadequate and always out of breath.
I remember trying to run outside about a two years ago when our company signed up for the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. I took the advice of a runner friend: "Run where there are cars so that when they drive by, you won't want them to see you walking."
That didn't work. I was out of breath by the end of the street. And walked home.
So I went back for more advice. "Run for a song, walk for a song."
With my zune in my ears and playlist picked, I made it through 1/2 a song before walking. I went around the block and was back home in about 15 minutes, but it felt like 2 hours. I didn't run again. Why bother. I knew how to lose weight eating better, I didn't need to run. (See there...my mindset was exercising was just for losing weight. Oh how things have changed!)
Why did I loathe running so? What was going on that gave me such a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach?
Clearly, there was an old wound there that made me hate running.
It dawned on me recently when I was going through some old pictures and found my cross country team photo. There I was, standing, nice legs, strong quads, (I say that now, but at the time, they looked fat to me!) but not in the singlet like everyone else. I'm in my over-sized team sweatshirt. Hiding.
*Insert pic here if I can
I was 15 at the time and joined the cross-country team thinking it would be fun and besides, there were no tryouts. I wasn't going to *not* get picked like the previous year with basketball tryouts. But unfortunately it wasn't fun. The team was extremely competitive. (Unlike the previous season of spring track where we would do Arbyruns: Me, and 2 friends, that I won't through them under the bus, would run half our long runs, stop at Arby's for curly fries, OMG yum! then run back. But they were skinny and fast; and alas, I was not.) So as a slightly over-weight teenager and one that took things so darn personally, comments made by insensitive coaches like “Come on, go faster, you could stand to lose a few”and "you run funny; you kick your heels out when you run” and the fact that I was pretty much in last place every race, turned me off to running and I eventually quit the team.
Since I am the type that is continually working on living in the present moment, (Read Molly's poignant post about that too!) going back and reliving the past seems like an object lesson in futility. And I certainly don't want to go back and relive high school. Yikes! But yet, sometimes in order to be present, in the moment, and to move past the past, we do need a little healing salve. Or a dream to remind us just how far we've come.
In my dream, I was singing, doing something I never thought possible and with complete joy. And last week, I was running 13.1 miles (and fast), something I never thought possible with complete joy.
My motivations to run change on a regular basis (talk about living in the present moment!) Some days I run for the grass-fed all-beef cheeseburger, some days it is for prayer time, some days it is to compete with my burn buddies and meet my 2,500 calorie/week challenge, some days it is to train for something I never thought I could do, some days it is because it is just so darn beautiful out not to. But they are for my own motivations, not a coach's or the scale's, but because of the joy that it brings.
Today, right now, I am going out for a run. And today I run because I've been healed.