Monday, December 7, 2009
A few years ago, I decided to run a marathon. I was ready. I’d trained for weeks. I’d even completed as much as a 13 mile run. All I had to do was essentially double the furthest distance I’d ever run in my life. Easy.
The race was like life. There were up-hills and down-hills. There were really joyful times, and really hard times. There were times when I had to run off the side of the road and pee on a tree. Miles 16-20 were the hardest for me. This is where my hamstrings began to cramp. My calves were aching. My lungs were burning. My lower-back held a vicious knot.
At mile 21 Celeste somehow found me on her bike. I felt like I had emerged from a battle, bruised, bleeding but strong and virile, pumping my way to the finish line. When she approached me I was in a surprisingly good mood. Her first words to me were, “Wow. You’re not running very fast.” I was happy to still be in the race and moving forward without the aid of a wheelchair. I suppose I was creeping along compared to how I normally ran.
At the last mile I stopped communicating. I really dug in and kept my mind on each footstep. I became very focused, very present. It so happened that there was a big gap between the runners in front and behind of me so I felt like I was running all by myself, like I was the only one in the race.
The last leg of the course took me down the long stretch of road that bisects the Gateway (shopping center). There were people everywhere, on each side of the road and on the second balcony level to the shopping center. The whole last partial mile was buzzing like a hive of cheers, encouragement, and excitement. As I rounded the corner, a burst of cheers hit me directly like an explosion and for a moment, it felt like everyone was there simply to cheer me on. At that same moment, the rockin’est blues band in the history of rockin' blues bands was positioned to greet me as I rounded the corner. They were playing ferociously. I could feel the music as much as hear it; the bass and the rhythm punched clear through me. Gathering my last drop of energy, I surged forward. As I limped past the band, the electric guitar player began to rip out a loud and nasty, bluesy solo. A grimace uncontrollably spread across my face, not because of the 26.1 miles I’d run, not because of the double hamstring cramp I was experiencing, not because my lungs felt as if I’d hacked them out somewhere around mile 19, but because the music was so right on, so dirty and so perfect that it evoked uncontrollable Blues Face, that face one gets when the music, the experience is rich with soul, rich with spirit. Blues face is what some musicians get when they enter the timeless. So good it hurts.
I believe that this is what heaven will be like some day when I get there. As I’m rounding the corner, finishing the race that has been hard, long, challenging, but beautiful and joyful, I’ll be greeted by a chorus of angles-friends cheering me -and a rockin’ blues band will be playing a song called, Welcome Home, Scottro P (my nickname). If any of you beat me to heaven, I hope to see you in my angelic chorus, even if you don’t think you have a very nice voice. And I hope that some of you will be wielding electric guitars.
Come to yoga and let's practice life in the form of yoga. Let's feel yoga; so good that it will give you blues face.