Those three little words – ‘In the moment’. For a long time I’ve aspired to running and living in the present tense. I have wanted to be aware of my time and place, as much and as often as possible. As Ram Dass famously put it, I wanted to ‘Be Here Now’.
Unfortunately, in most day-to-day settings, I have found it almost impossible to realise those aspirations with any degree of reliability. Thankfully, I keep trying.
When I have been successful, I’ve found that I can add a layer of richness and appreciation to ordinary moments that escape me at all other times. When I run and notice each breath; when I hear each footfall and notice the detail of the world around me; the experience is intense and vibrant.
For a runner, achieving any kind of concentration or focus on being present seems to become even more difficult when faced with injury. We generally attempt to plot a path away from this momentary interruption to ‘normal’ and back to where we feel we ought to be – which is not here, injured.
In the process we enter runner zombie-mode. We become consumed with the process of recovery and forget to run and live. On even the most crappy, injury-ridden, backwards-stepping day, there are rosebuds to be gathered.
We just need to pause and listen to our breath.