6 hill repeats. Trying to keep up with my running coach. Pushing myself a little.
Half-way up the 4th hill I notice my three pillars (mind, body and breath) are out of control. I realize this beacause my thoughts are in turmoil and breathing starts to physically hurt.
Which pillar holds the keys to my inner kingdom?
Mind… negative. It’s like a run-away horse.
Body… negative. Where in my body? When I focus on one area the rest seem to become unbalanced.
Breath… affirmative. Breath is the bridge between body and mind, between inside and outside. I free my breathing, I put order in my breathing chaos, I give myself space to breathe. And in doing so everything comes together again… I’m back on course.
2 more hills to go? No problem.
Normal day until I find out something that pushes me into stress-mode.set
An all-over alarm-reaction is set off in my whole body and mind. I can’t seem to stop thinking about the issue, angst threatens to swallow me up.
Suddenly I notice my ribs: stuck, unmoving. I notice my breathing: out of control, shallow.
And I realize: this is the same reaction (visceral, mental, corporeal, respiratory, emotional) I was having when I was pushing myself while runnign uphill. I’m losing control of my coordination in much the same way. Full-on adrenaline rush, run-away horse.
Will the same thought do the trick?
I try it out. I free my ribs as air rushes in. I free my ribs and allow it to whoosh out. I breathe deeply, freely, calmly, bringing everything back to a point of stillness within the storm. It works.
Is the situation fixed? Nope. The stress-factor is still there, much like the hill is still there and I’m still running up its slope, regardless of how calmly and peacefully I breathe through the process.
What changed then? My perception, my integration.