Running, like a butterfly

I know that may be hard to envision. Butterflies frequently fly in short bursts, which is how I would describe myself as a runner. During the months after my divorce, I literally ran out of the house — running, as “a sport,” for the first time. My mind was everywhere and I needed more than my usual fitness routine of pilates, spinning, kickboxing and barre classes. Day after day it was like being pulled by a magnet to just…run. I’ve never loved running. It was just a way to challenge myself, push myself, so I have continued to sign up for races throughout the year and continue to train for them.  I tend to keep my promises, honor my word, and follow through when I set my mind to something. There’s not too many emotions that come close to that sense of personal pride and accomplishment, and so I do it – I keep running and testing myself. In a few days I’ll run a race farther than I have in five years, at an elevation of more than 2,000 feet and partly on the Appalachian Trail. It’s going to be tough, but I’m here.

I left the turquoise, serene beaches of the Bahamas and rocked this bright red Fiat up the winding, lush, beautiful roads through the Smoky Mountains. So many shades of green. Absolutely stunning drive, with very few cars on the road. The air is crisp, and the mountains are layered in shadows and fully blanketed with trees. This girl didn’t quite put two and two together driving through the region. Why are there so many bbq’s going on, it’s so hot? I wondered over and over again. Oh, that’s not smoke, those are clouds! Wow. Hovering in pockets in between mountains and thickly settled valleys of trees. Hours later I had the aha moment. Ohh, the Smoky Mountains. Got it.

Butterflies use their sense of sight, hearing, touch and smell to survive in the world. Their high-intensity light receptors enable them to see color in a much more vivid way than we’re capable of seeing. So many butterfly metaphors out there and I don’t want to add to that list…yet these days I am striving to pay more attention to my senses. Needless to say, I’m in a place of re-grounding, and I can’t keep running my habitual patterns to survive in my world.

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