If we really want to get rid of suffering, completely and totally, then clinging has to go. The spiritual path is never one of achievement; it is always one of letting go. The more we let go, the more there is empty and open space for us to see reality. Because what we let go of is no longer there, there is the possibility of just moving without clinging to the results of the movement. As long as we cling to the results of what we do, as long as we cling to the results of what we think, we are bound, we are hemmed in. Meditating on No-Self: A Dhamma Talk (Edited for Bodhi Leaves), by Sister Khema(1994)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Helpful hints when running abroad

I didn't run yesterday.  Rest day.  Pain report, both knees, some soreness in the right soleus but no other pain.  Took a flight late Sunday night to L'viv, Ukraine to inspect one of our schools.  Today worked 12 hours and looked at myself in the mirror and decided I had to get a run in.

When running abroad without Google Maps, or even with Google Maps, take the local tourist map with you.  Take your mobile with you.  Take a little food with you.  Rule number one:  never panic.  Rule number two:  what goes up, has to come back down, its just geography.

My intention, run the stiffness and lack of activity out of my legs, take it really nice and easy and just get a run in.  Issue:  dark, I mean dark, unfamiliar city, not a lot of street lights and my major nemesis, cobblestone. 

Started out nice and easy and immediately encountered cobblestone or stone sidewalk, pick 'em.  I chose sidewalk, but still I had to cross cobblestone streets several times.  When I don't google map a city I usually choose to run in a straight line and then see what happens.  So I ran in a straight line till the road ended and I decided to turn right.  I started up a hill, okay fine, but the street was sort of street and sort of a pot hole infested car crushing festival.  No cars though, strange.  I crested the hill and still no cars, but lots of Orthodox Cristian Icons on the side of the road, interesting, didn't stop to look but kept running and in about 500 meters I started going downhill and could see and actual street with lights on it.  Good, geography lesson learned.  Got to the bottom took a right.

And proceeded to go straight uphill for two kilometers, I thought this thing would never end.  At this point I am channeling Caballo Blanco from "Born to Run", "why take two steps when you can take three?"  This thing twisted and turned and twisted and turned and I knew I was in trouble when I kept hearing cars down shift to get up this hill.  It never ended, but of course it did and that is when the real fun began.  I ran out of sidewalk.  Choices, cobblestone road or dirt on the side of the road/curb.  I choose dirt.  Thus begins a journey in the dark with no streetlights, no headlamp trying to pick my way down a slight downhill that I think will eventually become a big downhill.  Oh no, I run into a park, I look left and see the most beautiful view of an ancient city L'viv.  (wasn't destroyed by the Nazi's, still has all its buildings, old buildings).  This requires a stop.

It also requires taking out the map and seeing how the hell do I get back down.  I take out the map and see that I have run to the top of Vysokyi Zamok.  Translated High Hill, duh!  Well looks like I have to go back the way I came to find a street to get down.  I pick my way back again, at least I had seen it once and took a better path this time.  Finally found a way down and worked my way back to the hotel.

I only ran 7km but it was a truly interested 40 minutes.  Rules 1 and 2 came into play, and the map saved me. 

I love running in strange cities without Google Earth!

No comments:

Post a Comment