Earlier this week, my husband showed up with an early Valentine's day gift. A small brass frog in lotus pose and a flat,round garden stone with the word "breathe" etched into it.
Later that day, I did a little rearranging and moved the guest bed downstairs, making the upstairs room my yoga and music space-my "breathing" space.
On the eve of my return to racing, I keep finding myself forgetting to breathe. More than once today I have let my mind wander to the race and as my heart rate increases and my breathing becomes more rapid I remind myself to breathe deeply, filling my lungs with clean air and replacing the nerves with calm.
In the process of moving objects around I came upon a scrap of paper stashed away inside of a book. I had written it in 2008 when, after struggling early in a 5k I dropped out. For the first time in my running career. it read, "I let myself down tonight. I didn't let anyone else down but myself. I am the one that will have to live with this and the only one that can get past it. All the excuses in the world don't make up for the fact that I just plain QUIT! I will NEVER have this feeling again. I won't allow it happen."
Reading that reminded me of how far I have come as an athlete. Not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. It is all about breathing. Honest. Stop and think about all three of those aspects, physically, mentally, emotionally. In the end, it is all about the breathe we take and where that leads us.