Cherry BlossomsWasn’t it Buddha who said we’re shaped by our thoughts … and what we think, we become?

If so, my future self could be in t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

I’m not too concerned that my brain darts around on my shorter runs; those seem just long enough to plot out what I’m going to feed myself for lunch and question whether my hair will be too sweaty to skip the shampoo. But, I’m worried that–according to the Buddha-standard– I may need to up my mental game during longer runs.

I’ll use my last 10 miler as an example:

Miles 1-2: How’s my form, do I look like a real runner? Is my stride too short? Will people who see me be impressed, maybe they’ll assume I’m going to maintain this pace for the whole 10 miles? Oof, I gotta slow down. Why isn’t that lady picking up her dog’s poop? Your pet emptied the equivalent of its body weight onto the sidewalk, can’t you feel me shaming you from behind these sunglasses? DO THE RIGHT THING.

Mile 3: When’s Ke$ha going back into the studio to record some new material? I’m sick of singing along to her worn-out lyrics about being drunk at noon and subbing Jack Daniels for mouthwash. That said, she’s dynamite when paired with Pitbull—unstoppable. Why am I still listening to this kind of music anyway? What do mature people listen to when they run, Bach? Was he the deaf one or was that Beethoven? Hi sister runner, I like your leggings.

Miles 5-7: I wonder what’s become of all my possessions that have mysteriously disappeared throughout the years? Are they with new owners? Buried in a Borneo landfill? When I get to heaven, will God satisfy my curiosity? Will it be like my own episode of Murder, She Wrote where Angela Lansbury retraces my steps, revealing what happened to my Pony-brand cleats from 3rd grade, and my black Esprit vest that I wore dutifully for 12 years?

As for my Tiffany bracelet that vanished 5 years ago, did the creepy, night janitor from work steal it? The guy who’d nap under my coats during his graveyard shift? Maybe I had that one coming.

And what of that ice-gray, Banana Republic, zip-up fleece I forgot on the overnight train from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod? Is that still being passed around somewhere exotic? Maybe a hand-me-down currently worn by a 10-year old who sells pirated mp3s?

Mile 8: Why do I run? Why can’t I get into yoga? Yoga people have nice arms and they seem so calm. Flexibility … now that’s a distant memory. Do I have nice arms?

Mile 9: “Go insane, go insane, throw some glitter, make it rain…”

Mile 10: Don’t step in dog crap; don’t get hit by a Dodge Neon. I like pizza.

3 thoughts on “Enlightened

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