Wellness, fitness, personal growth are all platforms for the expression of love. So when you push yourself, ask yourself what you’re going to do with it. I know what I want to do with it…do you?
A week or so ago, I ran in a 10k that I have been running regularly for a long time. It was always a big family tradition for us all to participate in it, but this year, for all the reasons we know about things going on with the pandemic, I was the only one who could make.
While for many of you, my pace would be considered pathetic, ever since I started running this race I had never cracked an hour. While that is a pace of 6 minutes per km, I was never a fitness bunny until very recently. I have run the race previously after boozy lunches, in seersucker, and wearing MBTs. I do not recommend running with MBTs. That time, one lady from the crowd near the finish shouted out, “Oh My God, he’s wearing MBTs!” Let me just say that my toes were numb. When I took my shoes off I noticed that my toenails were bluish. I few days later they all fell off. It took a year for them to grow back. Always wear appropriate footwear!
This year would be different. For one, I run or exercise 6 days a week without fail. I run at least 3 days per week. Running has become an essential part of my life, especially for the benefits in weight management it confers. Given my love of food, are you surprised? I do at least one 8k each week.
The challenge for me was pace. As I have aged, my ability to push my pace has gone down. I asked the real fitness bunny in my family what to do (her time is 20 minutes faster than mine, and she holds the family record—you go girl!)…she started giving me tips on what to do. Run up hills. Sprint up hills. Sprint for short spurts during a normal run before settling back into a pace. Generally, run faster.
And though improving, my time on my daily runs was not making it a shoe-in. I would have to run steadily faster than ever before in order for me to meet my goal, especially since the time gap I needed to close was 7 minutes. I was on pace at the half-way mark, but had only a 30 second grace, and knew that the second half of the course was much more challenging, with a lot of uphill.
I realised at one point that I couldn’t do it with my mind alone. I asked my spirit to cry out to anyone that could help. My S.O., my children, my Mistress, my family (especially siblings who share similar goals), and a friend who was there to see me cross the line. I felt all of them, felt their happiness for me that would come if I managed. I felt my Mistress reach inside of me and pull me by my spine for 30 metres. And I felt the smiles of my friend carry me up hills. I was delirious, asking my body to do things that it had not done before.
Somehow, I made it, running faster on the second half than the first, and beating my goal comfortably. It was an out-of-body experience. It was followed by a delicious bottle of champagne and an incredible meal with a friend with whom I have had a deep connection for many, many years. She is one of the only people who knows me as non-binary. That creates comfort, but also made me value her presence with me even more. We lived together, shared the same bed (just never at the same time—we took turns using the apartment), creating a bond of innocent intimacy which has never abated. I glowed and reached out to all of my spirit friends to thank them.
The beauty of beating a goal is setting yourself a new one. Strength feeds strength. Today, I ran the farthest I have ever run in my life, 21km. Okay, at 18km I had to stop and stretch, and then I cooled down with a swim in the ocean at dawn…but then I ran the final 3k barefoot in the sand as penance for not making it clean. These small victories make me love life and the people around me all the more…because the more powerful and comfortable we are in ourselves, the more able we are to dispense love.
And maybe in the end that is all that matters. Our health and wellness are about being able to give to those around us. I make myself strong, pursue professional success, write, and try to grow as a human, because the better I am, the more I can give, and the more I can give, the happier I become, and the happier I can make others.
The first time Mistress kissed me with a whip, there was a break when I realised why I was there, what I sought from her. And yes, I cried, and asked that she help me grow as a person, that she help me to be someone she would be proud of. That message wasn’t just meant for her but is the meaning of life.
Just think, what if we all conducted ourselves in ways that were meant to make the people around us proud of who we are, how we are, and the things we do? How much better the world might be.