Yesterday my dad, brother and I ran the Knysna Marathon. My brother injured his calf muscle and had a slight cold a week before the race. However, at the end he decided to run the marathon with us. The condition was that we take it very slowly. When it comes to sport taking it slow is not something my family is good at. We can be very competitive. Not only with others but also with ourselves.
The strategy was that we were going to keep to my brother’s heart rate. Whenever it would reach a certain rate we would stop running and walk a bit. I am really proud that we managed to listen to our bodies during the marathon. We tend to be too much in our heads and forget about our bodies. We sometimes think that the only purpose of our body is to carry our heads around. However, our bodies speak to us in subtle ways. Pat Ogden writes that ‘the body always leads us home . . . if we can simply learn to trust sensation and stay with it long enough for it to reveal appropriate action, movement, insight, or feeling’.
In listening to our bodies and keeping my brother’s heart rate within a certain range we managed to complete the marathon together. Finishing the marathon together was more important for us than running a fast time. I realised that is also what we value about life. It is more important having someone who can be our companion on the journey, than standing on the pedestal alone. We want someone to share the journey with, a witness for our life.
During the marathon we witnessed how each one struggled with his or her own ‘inner judge’. More we witnessed how in supporting one another we could all reach the finish line together and share in the cheers of our loved ones. A memory that we will treasure in our hearts. Much better than achieving a fast time on your own. At the end our hearts and heads were in harmony. In connecting with our bodies we found our way home.