Saturday, September 5, 2009

Taper Madness

Today is day three of complete inactivity as far as exercise goes. I'm going in a marathon on Monday. Since I beat up my legs pretty good over the summer (when I wasn't working and running 10 or 20 miles a day); I decided that I needed 5 days of complete rest before attempting a marathon. My weight is down to 130.8 this morning (good job with dieting).

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Heart of America marathon. Twice as many people as usual signed up. Hal Higdon is coming to sign his book "Marathon," which I don't have. They are even having porta-potties! (Usually, you are on your own out there, plenty of bushes though). On a sad note, they are having an awards "ceremony." Which means I'll miss picking up my age group plaque because I'll not be able to wait around 3 hours after finishing for the "ceremony" to start.

This morning, I was up early, as usual, but no running. I sat in the quiet of my apartment. I pondered the reality of tapering. Tapering is a time of waiting and emptiness. It is a time of anticipation as something-not-yet makes its way into the present. As a spiritual practitioner, it is a time to find holiness and peace in the waiting.

For many, it is a time of madness. The madness is a function of the ego; and without a conscious practice, most people experience emotional stress during empty periods in their lives. Without a consistent spiritual practice which has already learned to "be still and wait," people go crazy during inactivity. The ego jumps into action: shreiking out fears, angers, shame, failure, worry, vengefulness, etc. People can't stand the ego's terror, frustration and wild clanging. Instead, they go shopping or they eat.

In general, the ego is agitated during all periods of space and waiting. The reason is because God can be found in the quiet. The ego does not want the human to experience God; because experiencing God, the human will abandon the ego. The beginning spiritual practitioner experiences the same ego agitation as everyone else when the spiritual practice of silence is undertaken. The practioner determined to meet God will not quit as the ego agitation mounts. The ego agitation can be passed through. The ego does not have to win. People who quit the practice have allowed the ego to win. The determined spiritual practitioner who wants God above all else and persistently and consistently makes the effort to find inner peace; will eventually get through the ego's shrieks and find that peace. This effort is supported with help from a Higher Power. God wants first of all to enjoy the consciousnesses He made as His children.

This evening I will begin my sacred pre-marathon rituals. I will shave my legs. I will drink the Senna tea.


Mark said...

I contemplated the taper today also. Very insightful post! Have fun and enjoy the marathon.

Spirit Flower said...

Thanks Mark! 35.5 hours to start time.

Andy said...

If you tell them when you cross the finish line that you can't stick around, they will give you your award early.