Feb. 7th, 2013

physicality

Feb. 7th, 2013 11:48 am
clevermynnie: (and then?)
It's becoming apparent to me that I rely on physicality when I feel mentally out of balance. In grad school, I was certainly aware that I was using running as a way to process complex emotions and stabilize my mood. But endurance running especially has the effect, for me, of shutting down some of the more analytic parts of my brain while flooding it with 'YOU ARE GREAT, THIS IS GREAT' messages. Which is kind of avoidance, a little bit, but when in a complicated morass with no easy way out, it's a big help.

This has been coming up in improv where I notice myself turning to physicality when I don't know what to say. I went so over the top with it this week that I lost my balance, literally, and staggered backward across a room into a wall onto a heater. This was a day after falling into a tangle of mud and thorns on a trail run, and I later ended up falling AGAIN, and basically feeling like when I don't know what to do I throw myself into the physical world in a pretty dramatic way.

But also, to go back to running, just to have a pursuit that provides a physical conduit for the endless striving that sometimes pours out of me is more valuable than I realized. When I am ensnared by thoughts and feelings, having a way to release the frustration that builds up is not only satisfying but provides a lot of mental clarity that I can take back to non-physical pursuits. After I fell in the mud, I ran another ten miles, and I went until my entire mind was consumed by telling my body to just keep going. And then I was able to rest and be still.

muddy feet and sea

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