This is my Trick or Treating face.
Why is this neighborhood so LARGE?
Earlier today I went for a puddle jump in the Arboretum. I know I've said it before, but I fucking love the Arb. I'll run it until it snows, and when the weather turns to spring I'll puddle jump again. It was about 50 and raining this afternoon. Perfect temperature. In the trees the wind was a total non-factor and the rain was intermittent except for the big drops shaken from the branches by the breeze. It was beautiful. I stomped or jumped in every single puddle. There were a few nice muddy ones. Not as many as in the spring, but it was deeply satisfying. I've been leaving my headphones behind a lot lately, and I haven't missed them much. Today's run called for some classical music. I actually listen to classical music while I run on a semi-regular basis. It has a mathematical precision that speaks to one part of my brain, and the ability to wring out deep emotion from another part. Sometimes that combo is disaster (PSA, don't listen to the Angus Dei while running after someone close to you dies-catharsis doesn't cover it), but most of the time it is uplifting in the extreme. I found a version of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons done by the London Symphony and played it through the speaker on my phone. It was like running to my own goddamn soundtrack, and it was fucking perfect.
I could smell the earth and the water today. The leaves muted my footfalls to the point where I could barely hear them. Even my breath cooperated, coming easily without that one mile of gasping that usually starts my runs. I crisscrossed over trails I know like the back of my hand, and a few spurs I've never been down. I didn't encounter a single other soul. That is rare, and precious.
I love the bleakness of the Bay.
Afterwards I headed home and peeled off my wet shoes and socks. These Brooks are now my official puddle jumping shoes after last weekend's soaking and another go today.
I go back to work tomorrow night. I honestly love my job most of the time, so I'm not sad to go back exactly. I will miss just doing whatever I feel like all the time. Having 24 days off in one go is a hell of a thing. I think I'll do it every October.
My October challenge at the yoga studio came to a close yesterday, and the Lurong is over as of midnight tomorrow. Both of these things gave me a lot this month in particular. Lurong kept me on the straight and narrow from a dietary standpoint, and kept me at it in the CrossFit box for the last 6 weeks. I saw some serious gains as a result. My yoga challenge got me into the studio for 22 classes and improved my technique, strength, and flexibility more than I anticipated. My body has changed a lot (for the better), and my mindset has changed as well.
It seems silly to say that just thinking or saying a phrase to yourself daily can really change your outlook on life, but it actually worked (much to my surprise). I could feel myself becoming less afraid, less self-conscious. I practiced active self-acceptance...and I started accepting myself. Crazy, right?
My final affirmation for the month is this:
Only I define myself.
No one gets to say who or what I am. Only I can do that. What you see when you look at me does not define me. Whatever you think of me is your own affair. I can't change the way you see me, only the way I see myself. So what am I?
I am beautiful and powerful and sexy. I am outspoken and passionate and fierce. I am intelligent and talented and driven. I am impulsive and adventurous and spontaneous.
I am also insecure and weak and self-conscious. I am anxious and impassive and afraid. I am single-minded and ordinary and apathetic. I am cautious and timid and inhibited.
I am all these things, and I accept that fact. Every day I have worked on accepting it. Every day I will continue to work on accepting it. My body has done amazing things over the last few months. It will do even more in the months and years to come. My mind has done amazing things as well, and I will do whatever I can to keep that momentum going.
This year isn't over, not even close. There are goals still to reach, and I will reach them. Buckle up, bitches.