Jill Homer did a post today on her blog Jill Outside
(articglass.blogspot.com) called “Pallet of Motion”.I love that image.As a child, I
spent more hours than I could possibly guess drawing, coloring, cutting, pasting,
and creating.I loved art.And while I don’t practice it as much now,
that way of seeing the world still resonates with me.I experience this beautiful world as a work
of art when I see the sun reddening the sky, tulips blooming in the yard, or autumn
trees dropping a blanket of leaves on a trail.The colors always draw me in and make me feel alive and awed.
That’s the physical world, but it makes so much sense to
look at life as a developing work of art, too.
And to narrow that down to the ways we move – the activities that we do
to exercise, stay fit, be happy… Those activities spark the same sort of
passion inside me as when I look out at the view from a mountain trail or a big
city race route. I get that same feeling
of being alive, growing, fulfilling some part of how I was put together as a
creature when I ride or run.
So the pallet of motion is the diverse and colorful collection
of things that each of us does to move our body for fitness and adventure.
Jill asked the question of why you started doing the sports
that you now love. How did each one
become a blob on the pallet?
Running has been my longest and most consistent form of
motion. I started running during the
summer before my Freshman year of high school.
Somehow, I got hooked up with the cross country kids who ran each morning
during the summer in preparation for the fall CC season. The first day I showed up, I had no idea what
to expect. My only running experience
had been the mile run around the athletic fields in gym class. I came wearing a beat up pair of canvas Keds.
I went on to run cross country and track all four years in
high school, but I wouldn’t say that I was necessarily in love with running
yet. I liked it well enough, and I liked
the benefits of running – the fitness, the feeling of accomplishment, the team camaraderie. I continued running on my own in college and
beyond. I had periods of very few miles
and lots of mile. But it wasn’t until
the last few years that running became one of those things that just feels right. Like it’s the most natural thing for my body
to be doing. Like I’d go on doing it
forever if by body couldn’t get fatigued.
I had a similar feeling about road biking a few years
back. I rode a bike growing up – both for
fun and to get to my summer job or to friends’ houses. But it wasn’t a passion. Shortly after I got married, my hubby bought
me a new bike – my first real mountain bike.
I started riding it around town and began to enjoy it more and more. One September, I decided to do a 55 mile ride
up the White Pine trail and back the next day.
Suddenly, I knew that I could do an endurance effort on a bike. I bought a used road bike, planned my first
century for the next spring, and completed another century that same summer.
Pedaling hard and fast down a smooth stretch of road was the
first time that I felt a passionate connection to an endurance sport. At the time, I thought, “How am I just
discovering cycling now? This feels like
what I was meant to do.” That intensity
of feeling faded over time, but it was just the beginning of a discovery
From there, I moved into mountain biking. This was partly to add some variety to the
mix, and partly because the hubby would do it with me. Mountain biking provides a combination of
physical and mental challenge. It’s like
working through a puzzle while rolling down a trail. A root, a rock, a steep decline, a hill, a
tight curve…this piece, that piece, one here, now there… It’s as fascinating as it is
challenging. I will never be an awesome
mountain biker. I’m too wussy. But I do enjoy it. It’s like combining cycling with trail
running, and I’ve always preferred running or biking on trails to the road.
After about a year of doing nothing but biking, I had a
desire to get back into running again.
After being away for a while, it felt different. My muscles weren’t used to it anymore. At the same time, my legs came back to it
like I’d never been away. A strange
combination. And suddenly, I loved
it. There was no pressure to perform or
race. I could just run whatever
distance, speed, and location felt good.
Running felt so natural, which makes sense considering I’ve been doing
it since I was 14.
When I was younger, I stuck to the roads mostly. The smooth pavement felt easier, more
secure. But in my heart, I always loved
the portion of a course that went through the woods. I always liked the adventure of cross country
more than circling a track. Now, I would
run on trails almost exclusively if there were more within running distance of
my house. Despite (and because of) the toughness
and footing challenges, trail running has become the thing that I wish I could get
paid to do. It’s one of my top 3 favorite
activities in this life. I never get
enough of the sights, smells, and joys of bounding past a rock, surging up a
slope, slipping on some mud… My heart
pounding, the sun shining, the breeze blowing…
So in broad strokes, that’s a little bit about my pallet of
motion. Throw in a sprinkling of a dozen
other things like hiking, tennis, dancing, dodge ball, walking, Frisbee golf,
and swimming and the motion of my life is a fabulous picture becoming more and
more complex and fulfilling.
What colors make up your pallet of motion? How did they become a part of your life?