A field day for your mind, body and soul. Community instead of competition. Running my first mindful 5k with a mindful mind set. Sounds easy right?
Well for me, the one with the high competitive edge at all times, it proved to be quite difficult. The funny thing behind it was that I was actually excited at the idea leading up.
I immediately thought how easy, nice and awesome it would be.
I can walk, I can lightly jog, I can stop and take photos, listen to my body, zone out on my thoughts, etc. Just do my thing and cross the finish line at some point. Well, ever heard the term “easier said then done? “ That was me, as I started making my way to the starting line for the pre-race stretch.
A large amount of people had already gathered by the time I got there...a much larger group than I was expecting so I was near the middle-back of the crowd.
Then I felt myself start inching towards the starting line.
A stretch here or there and then I would move through a few people, stretch, move through, stretch, etc. Until I realized what am I doing? It doesn’t matter where in the line I am because it doesn’t matter when I cross the finish line, just as long as I enjoy the journey to get there.
The crowd jittered and twitched waiting to begin their beautiful field day…finally MC Yogi announced that we were off! Slowly the crowd made it through the “Wanderlust” wooden arch and into the streets of Tampa, FL. As with any run/walk, it is a bit of a game to get through the crowds and find your pace.
A constant game of dodging others or being dodged.
As I got into my rhythm, I felt really good. I started putting my legs to the test, feeling the adrenaline blasting through me. I was in the zone, ready to run and get ahead of the next person ahead of me…and then the next and then the next…then up behind me came a woman with a fast and strong pace. I decided I would follow her.
“Wow, it is a hot one today.” I was already sweating but feeling great as I continued to push myself. I notice some small “wanderlust” signage up ahead.
-This competition is not to beat each other- (sign 1)
-But to be with one another- (sign 2)
That was not the exact verbiage but you get the jist… And So. Did. I.
I had done it again. I let my competitive mindset take over and totally forgot my intention for the day.
As some say a sign is not a sign until it is a sign.
Well I saw my sign – literally.
“SLOW DOWN, RELAX. This is not a race but a run to be with those around you.”
Suddenly, I noticed all the beautiful people around me. Of all shapes, sizes, races, and ages. Wow, this is great. So I slowed down, took my time, enjoyed the scenery and started paying attention to how my body felt vs. what my ego wanted my body to do.
“My breath is heavy. Really heavy. Wow my sports bar is making it hard to breathe. Damn my thighs are rubbing together…I will make sure to barely eat anything on Monday & Tuesday. My feet are getting blisters…ow my feet hurt. There goes my left calf….geez this is painful. Ah a twitch in my back…so much sweat.”
And so you have it when I wasn’t focusing on beating the person ahead of me, I got sucked into the more negative or obvious aspects of my thoughts.
“If I could only quiet my mind…well at least I’m not thinking about work, that’s a plus.”
The difference I slowly realized was that I can walk if I want to. And in every other race I’ve ever run I could have walked then to. This is my run, my pace, my life.
So I slowed down....but not for long until my competitive mindset took over and then I tried to quiet it but to which I then zoned in everything that didn’t feel right.
And so it went like that until I turned my thoughts to my music and running to the beat, listening to my breath. Before I knew it I was done.
“Hello wooden arch, nice to see you again!”
I completed my first mindful 5k. Well, I attempted to at least. Who would have thought that would have been so much more mentally challenging than anticipated?
And what did this exact situation remind me of…my first time attempting meditation. Ha! Funny coincidence? I think not.
And yes, I did participate and truly participate in a complete meditation later that afternoon.
Life always has a way of smiling back and laughing with us. And what should we do? Smile right along with it.
Namaste my friends,
Ps. If you ever have the opportunity to participate in this event, PLEASE DO.
It was one of the cooler things I’ve done.
Run. Dance. Yoga. Meditate. Music. Good Vibes. www.wanderlust.com
Beautiful crowd hands photo at the top is from the Instragram: @bridgeandbloom
Music: Petit Biscuit: Sunset Lover
Check out: MC Yogi & Sol Rising if you’re not already familiar
Author: Britt Olson
Working to love my soul more and more with every day that passes. Incorporating mindful intention, gratitude, and a relationship with the Universe and Mother Nature's healing properties.