It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I have been mulling over a new post for several days now but was not quite sure where to go with the scattered ideas that I had. Then this morning, while “listening” to NPR in my pre-work, partially caffeinated stupor, I swear I heard a woman say something about “pizza mind”. Amusing but slightly baffling at the same time. Certainly she meant to say peace of mind (and she probably did, but that is just not quite as fun). So then the Wife posted something on the facebook about the Dalai Lama wherein he states, unequivocally, that “The key to relaxation is peace of mind.”
The key to relaxation is pizza mind. I will let you run with that for a moment…
Now, I am certainly a fan of pizza… of all makes and models. Well, within reason. There are some things out there that are called pizza, but I want no part of them. Conversely there are other things that both look and act like pizza in many ways, but are called by other monikers (“flatbread” as an example). There are many types of pizza certainly and as such I do not feel there is such a thing as a “right” kind of pizza. Perhaps it is more of a continuum, a spectrum of pizzaness. Yeah, I like pizza but before now I never really considered it in relation to tranquility or enlightenment… pizza mind.
Pizza is a conglomerate… a coalescence of ingredients. As such, there can be no one, true pizza. But there can likely be a perfect pizza, and as with many such things it is quite possible that no two perfect pizzas are ever the same. What would seem right and true and perfect for one may make little to no sense to another. I for one have no interest in putting pineapple on pizza, and until relatively recently thought chicken was out of place. Once upon a time I would have thought that breaded eggplant on pizza was utter nonsense, but now I know that it is a beautiful thing. You see it is not about the pizza, but the pizza mind. When all of the right elements come together at the right time and place it can be perfect. Yet perfection, like pizza, can be fleeting. Thus pizza mind – like tranquility – must be cultivated; encouraged.
But this is all beside the point as I meant to talk about running. I have no idea how these things have much to do with each other, but something tells me they do. If I figure it out I will let you know.
Running, with puppy.
This time last year I wrote about this jogging/walking circuit I was doing with the dogface in cold weather. It involved overdressing and slogging uphill through unpacked snow to stay warm. If you have not and care to, you can read that here. It only briefly mentions running… sort of. It was more about cold weather in general.
So yesterday was my first, true sub-zero run. That is, it was the first time I have put on “proper” running gear and ventured out in sub-zero temperatures to actually run with the sole intention of running (ugh, sorry about that). Now this should not be confused with the overdressed shuffling about that I was doing this time last year. No, this year I have begun taking running more seriously for some reason. I tried doing some running last year during the summer but it did not really stick. I took it up again this past summer and then sometime in autumn something clicked.
I used to hate running, and believe I have mentioned that fact at some point in the past, but now I genuinely love it. I miss it when I skip a day. I strive to run every day (or did until a couple weeks ago… I could offer excuses but never mind… blerch), but honestly this will be my first foray into winter running and it takes some time to adjust. There is a bit about gear to consider (only some of my skiing stuff will translate), but it is also about the season itself. Winter is cold and dark and at times dreary and foreboding… for me; but on the other hand that is all the more reason to force convince myself to keep running.
So ultimately, running is a relatively new thing for me. Something about it suddenly made sense to me. I am outside, I am being active, I need to be alert and aware, but can also let my thoughts wander. Aside from the above mentioned “proper” shoes and appropriate attire, it requires no implements (as opposed to say biking or skiing). When running, one moves somewhat swiftly but not necessarily hastily (I am no sprinter). It is a simple, seemingly pure activity… whatever that means. Anyways, I like it.
Yesterday I ran with the new puppy. She likes it too. It is different though, this running, with puppy. Different that is than running solo. Different enough that I had to consider why it was not enjoyable in the same way as running sans puppy. Essentially the same activity, but not at all the same. It is the pizza mind. One has to approach the latter differently than the former. Both are enjoyable for similar reasons, but the ingredients are different and thus the experience is different. When running solo there is little to consider other than myself, my environment, and my own thoughts. With puppy (or with any other individual really) there are other elements to consider, space and pace perhaps the two most important. I suspect however, that the more we run together the more we will find the right path and things will fall together better. She is, after all, still just a puppy.