Yes, this title is a direct reference to Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” segment. Kudos if you caught it!
After thinking about how much I love Jon Stewart (hint: it’s a lot), I found myself pondering this phrase. Though Stewart generally shows clips that are hilarious, frustrating, and downright crazy depending on who’s featured, I meandered more toward the true meaning of “zen.”
Lately, I’ve been crazy-busy. And evidently, crazy busy is a new thing, with people being busier than ever, yet seeming to relish this hamster-on-the-wheel schedule and mentality. I can’t really point a finger, because for a long time, I was one of those people. My last year in college I took a full course load, was an RA, participated in a variety of extra-curricular activities, had a part-time internship, and had my relationship with FH (then just BF). I went non-stop from 6AM to 11:30 PM on an average day; when I was on duty, that 11:30 would stretch to 2:30 or 3:30 AM.
And what’s more? I loved it.
Now, I’m only ever “crazy busy” sporadically, either if there’s a huge project coming up or I’ve seriously mismanaged my time. It’s been a bit of both recently, though I’m not trying to beat myself up; I am, after all, only human.
Sometime during all this thinking, I took up running. (I know, how original, a blogger who runs, right?) But I needed to get in some better semblance of athletic shape, and after never, ever being a runner, I figured the challenge of trying to do something I couldn’t do easily might give me a bit of an ego boost. And while that seems to be what’s happening, I also happened to run, quite literally, into what my “zen” was.
This morning was bright and beautiful. I dragged myself out of bed at 7, dressed and stretched, and headed out to run. I’ve been using the Couch-to-5K app as recommended by Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point (she did a great overview of the app, which you can read here). The app really is great and makes easing into the whole running process very accessible for beginners – I can’t say enough good things, though I may eat those words as the training really starts ramping up!
So there I was, jogging along to some Panic! At the Disco and waiting for the app to tell me it was time to walk. The neighborhood I run through is beautiful, but I wasn’t focusing on the houses or the flowers; all I could do was keep my mind totally blank as my feet moved beneath me. The only thing I could allow myself to think about was breathing.
After a few reps of this, I was taking my walk break when it finally hit me: during my last jog, I had literally thought about nothing. I mean, nothing. Sure, I was still watching to make sure I didn’t run into anything or anyone, and I was aware (very, very aware) of the strain my body was feeling, but for one minute, sixty glorious seconds, I didn’t once think about all of the things that normally nag my brain in quiet moments. I didn’t panic about the report I had to do, I didn’t try planning what would be for dinner, and I didn’t think about how silly I might look while running. I truly had a moment of zen – and it wasn’t even 8AM!
I don’t know if it will happen every time I run, but I can say for sure that come my run on Wednesday, I won’t be dragging myself out of bed – I’ll get up purposefully, stretch with meaning, and head out the door hoping I can, yet again, run into my moment of zen.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some Terrific Tuesday! In the meantime, I hope you all find a wonderful, meaningful moment of zen as well 🙂