Running- Through My Eyes

So, I was running the other day… yes, what else is new?

I was running through Central Park, my required 5 mile run for half-marathon training… ok that’s kinds cool but what does it have to do with eyes?

And I was in total awe of how beautiful the park was with the setting sun sparkling off the snow and ice, which was covering the ground and trees.  It looked something like a winter wonderland.  A silent white glistening undisturbed other-world.

I suddenly had the desire to show everyone what beauty I stare at when I run.  I wanted to share that with everyone.

It’s the same way I feel when I’m running Hudson Greenway/ Riverside Park path and the George Washington Bridge appears for the first time in the distance around a corner, peeking up from behind the trees.

GWB sunset

Or the way I felt on New Years Eve on the downhill final mile of the run- New York City all lit up for the night coming into view in all it’s splendor and glory.

I don’t know how to show it.  To share what I see.  And I don’t know if any of you would care.  I can’t find words to do the view justice… and I can’t stop a run every 2 minutes to take more pictures.

So what’s the point of this post?  
I don’t really know.  I do know that I haven’t written in ages and that when I’m running these are just things I realize.  I suppose, what i see is so often what keeps me going.  I’m almost finished with week 2 of training and it’s starting to take me to places that are truly challenging.  I know it will only get harder before it gets easier and I reach the final prize.  And when I’m somewhere in the middle of a run and my mind starts to talk me down and get tired I start looking around me.  I put myself in the present moment and open my eyes to truly see what I’m in.  I distract my mind with light and shadows and eventually it clears and is calm and quiet.  My body takes over and I look on.

Snowy trees

I had someone ask if I get emotional when I run… or when I’m done with a run.  My reply- Yes.  “When I do a really good run- in time, distance, or just feeling- I get a little choked up at the end (and sometimes in the middle when I hear my mile count and get really proud of myself).  Partly because it’s over, and partly because- in that moment- I feel so powerful and amazing”.

I’m discovering how personal running can be.  It’s become more then just a workout routine for me… more then just a way to lose weight or make myself forget about how lonely I am.  It’s a time when it’s just me.  I have to be honest and true to myself and no one else.  It comes down to myself- body and mind,  my shoes, and the road(or the tread mill).

I still have a long way to go to 13.1 miles… then eventually the big 26.2.  In fact, in about 12 hours I’ll be out on a 5 mile run to wrap up this week.  But the only one who’s gonna get me there is me. 

What keeps you moving?  Comment, Share, Like, Follow, Tweet (@nychristiane) or Instagram (@nychristiane).

lovealways, christiane

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The EX-Factor

Sometimes, as much as we love to hate them, or hate to love them, or love that they hate us, or hate that they hate us, or love that they hate us (I could go on) we have to eventually admit that our Ex(s), as in someone you were in a significant relationship with and are no longer with, influence our lives and our feelings.

Do you ever find it strange how many feelings and memories can be evoked by a location, a song, a smell, a color, a food, or even a way of life? Sometimes bringing back fond memories of a different time, sometimes reminding of heartbreak, confusion, and even self doubt.

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Now that I’m back in NYC (and I’m sorry, but isn’t that the MOST AMAZING pic. of Midtown NYC– as I flew over Manhattan from STL!!! click to enlarge it!) I’m finding this may be something I struggle with. For example, a year ago today… or maybe it was yesterday, I reconnected with someone who I truly thought I would spend the rest of my life with, in Bryant Park. We talked, laughed and started to lay the ground work for a future. Fast forward to right now, and my life track looks like it’s just me… but I still have a hard time visiting Bryant Park. Just being there reminds me of that night that changed everything. So what do I do? -Go there everyday and wallow in my regret and sadness, wishing I could go back and change things so I’d still be happy? -Never set foot in that park again and avoid it at all costs, in so doing, miss out on all the events hosted there year round? No, that all sounds like it’s going a little over board and bordering on crazy. Instead, when I find myself chilling in Bryant Park, I acknowledge the memories and the feelings, but I let them go… and I enjoy my time.

I have a dear friend who very recently went through something very similar to my recent events. She retreated home in order to get ahold of her feelings and make a plan to take her life in a new direction. The other day she was headed to a wedding with family. Once at the venue, it hit her that she and her significant other had been there just weeks earlier and had enjoyed a wonderful evening. Now being back and alone, all those emotions hit her… hit her hard. Tears began as she tried to make her way into the reception room and join her family, but the memories won out- she turned and high tailed it out of there.

Can you blame her? I know those feelings all to well. All we can do is hope that time will make it easier to cope and that eventually these places will hold new and better memories for us.

However, not all Factors are something as easy as a location. This is where my current struggle kicks in. My now-Ex and I had begun a very strict vegetarian diet and lifestyle together… and now that I’m on my own I’m having trouble deciding if I should (or want to) remain vegetarian or, if in attempting to “purge” myself of all reminders of him (ya right, not!), I should let it go and eat whatever I want.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I have found I naturally tend to lean towards a vegetarian diet regardless (I really don’t like to handle raw meat, so I don’t cook it often) and I have come to truly LOVE many of the vegetarian meals I have been introduced too. Am I holding onto something by continue with this lifestyle choice? I know that I do feel better when I eat less heavy meats and I’m enjoying trying new foods that otherwise I may never try. But it does remind me of him… and as we have to eat somewhat consistently… it’s almost a consistent reminder. Eventually I know it won’t be, but for the present moment… sigh.

This whole experience and how I’ve managed to (somewhat) overcome it and continue to live, has been a true eye opener. You may never realize how closely tied your life is with someone else until they are no longer a part of it, for better or worse. Then it’s a healing and growing process… which, as much as we wish it would just happen over night… actually takes a lot of time (whether we admit it to ourselves and others or not).  Sometimes it seems like the easiest answer is to delete all reminders of that other person (I don’t do this but I know someone who does) and pretend like it’s not something that keeps us up at night, or surfaces after a few to many drinks, or seems like it would be a comfort when things are hard and no one is there for you.  (more on this concept in a post coming soon).

So, what’s your Ex-Factor? What things stir up memories that you struggle with? 

Feel free to Share, Comment, Like, Follow, ETC!

There are some great posts on the way, including some travel stories with great pictures, the importance of balance and how I find that, and my newest post work-out treat! So I know you will want to stay tuned 😉

Love always, Christiane

I Can See the Stars

But really- I was out walking the other night, looked up, and stopped dead in my tracks– I could see hundreds of stars in the night sky. I’d almost forgotten they existed. I stood on the sidewalk in the dark for about 5 minutes, not budging- just looking and listening to the night.

I should preface this short post… I’ve left the busy crazy New York behind for 2 weeks and retreated to my summer cottage nestled between the bluffs along the mighty Mississippi River. Basically the polar opposite of NYC, Chautauqua is the perfect place to be right now.

When I return to the city, this blog will pick up again, but I’m enjoying some time without a buzz or a ding or a ring… And some time to reflect and listen to myself.

Which leads back to the inspiration for this post- not quoting a song on purpose- but I could look up and see the stars and I couldn’t look away. Being in New York, so bright and loud all the time, it’s near impossible to see the stars or hear the crickets or listen to yourself.

Full accounts of my trip, my thoughts, realizations, and workouts will be in posts to come. In the mean time…
What I would love for all of you to take from this quick post– remember to get away from your phone, computer, daily stresses and really take some time for you. Go someplace where you can look up and see stars. It will be amazing how humbled and beautiful you will feel.

Love always, Christiane.