Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Keeps You Running?

The Mimosa

In running, there are benefits. There are rewards for pushing the body beyond what it thinks it can do. Like faith. We go beyond ourselves. It is what we are called to do, as believers. If we aren't challenged, we don't grow. We never really arrive, except when the song is over, or the Fat Lady sings, (whatever that means.) It is in the struggle that we glimpse joy. It is through pain, that we discover the feeling of relief.

And as we run our race, our journey is wrought with potholes and variety. Hills and descension, shade and blazing sun, solitude and crowds. Many people have expressed, "I hate running." Yea, I kinda do too. That's why I do it. What ?!  I have a bit of a stubborn determined streak. If you tell me I can't do it, I want to prove you wrong. There is a certain satisfaction in sweating and stomping on pavement.

I don't exactly enjoy running, because let's face it, I'm not built like a runner. I'm more of a jogger who likes to eat. I run so I can feast on dessert. I also have the wired physiology of mitochondria that needle me to cardio activity. I've been told by a midwife that if you are used to strenuous athleticism, those listening cells remind you that you feel a lot better when you're in motion. If you slouch on the couch, you'll suffer and plummet into singing the "Blues." So really, it is a mental health issue.

To borrow from my last post, I love the slogan, "Run Your Feelings."

I do gather pleasure from running in scenery, sounds, and smells.  I love the aroma of a campfire at the lake. I groove on the rolling mountains overlooking the dam. When I'm not bee bopping to the music on my IPod, I take note of sound surround. Last time, I watched swimmers paddle parallel to the dam and found myself jealous. The water moving under their control had a musical refreshing quality to it, especially in climbing temperatures. I feel privileged in sharing the song of morning birds. Birds just sound more peaceful in the morning, as if their expression is a gentle heralding of the day. Their basic trill and twitters are like whispering vespers of praise.

We've even been treated to chalk drawings on the path from campers encouraging us to press on in rainbows and signs that say, "Go! You can do it!"

The most pleasing sensory stimulations are fragrances atomized from seasonal flowers. I like Jasmine, Honeysuckle, and Gardenia. A favorite is that of the Mimosa bloom. It reminds me of childhood in Florida. It grows all over the South. It is considered an invasive plant. How can something so natural, so beautiful, be a harassment? 

The mimosa plant is notorious for overtaking open land, such as vacant lots in urban or suburban areas and roadsides. These invasive plants can be especially problematic along waterway banks because their seeds can easily be carried in water to other areas. The plants usually grow in thick clusters, which limits the availability of sunlight and nutrients for other plants.

Read more: Mimosa Plants | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6308805_mimosa-plants.html#ixzz20H5ylqyX

It's like A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Francie Nolan describes a certain tree that likes poor people and thrives in cement with wire cages fencing it. Such plants have a knowing expression to them. They understand that we need beauty. We crave it, wild and free.

The Mimosa looks like it belongs on a vanity dresser paired with powder and set alongside  a golden hairbrush and sparkling mirror. It smells like it looks. Powdery, pink, soft... yet with a tropical zing to it. So feminine and unique.

If it could be bottled in a perfume, I'd wear it.

I wonder as I run with the others if they take in the Mimosa and what do they glean from this race? What small pleasures charge their batteries? What gives them a reason to finish?

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