Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sweat beads of Blackness....

In a normal day in my life, it is not unusual for me to go from one activity to another. I might meet a client or group to run and then head straight over to work in the studio with someone recovering from injury or someone on the pilates reformer. The other day was no exception, but as I was driving back to the studio I noticed that my clothes stunk. Not just a little un-fresh, either. Full on stinkage! I tried every trick in the book—baby wipes, smelly lotion, wiping down using the sink in the bathroom—all to no avail. I apologized to my client who politely said she didn’t smell me. Of course, she then suggested I try soaking my clothes in a bucket of double strength Oxi-clean until I was ready to wash them. BRILLIANT! Why didn’t I think of that? So, I bought some Oxi-clean and set about filling an industrial size mop bucket with water and cleaner and in went the workout clothes. This was GREAT! How exciting to have fresh-as-new clothes again! I felt like a kid getting ready for the 4th grade science fair…. Ah, the memories….plants and bugs and Jell-o and ….. but, I digress...

Knowing the stench contained within my poor, overused workout attire, I settled on 24 hours of soakage before extracting the clothes and washing them. Such a long 24 hours, too…. I could barely contain myself (embarrassingly). It was like getting a whole new wardrobe again, all clean and stink-free.

This is a testament to the mundane-ness of my life, I suppose…. Or to my inner nerd.

So, I put on my lab coat and goggles—ok that is a bit of an exaggeration…. But, I went out to the garage and began removing the clothes from the bucket and I was completely taken aback. I expected the water to be dingy, I really did. But, the water was BLACK, not tan or muddy or cloudy. It was Black, so black you could not even see the bottom of the bright yellow bucket. Disgusting. Truly and really, that is just gross. And embarrassing. And eye-opening. How could that much filth be contained in something that looked perfectly clean and bright and completely UN-filthy??

Most of the time when I run, I allow my mind to ponder things, to think deeply and to access the emotions and fears and thoughts that dwell deep inside of me. It is normal for me to talk to God as I travel through the early morning darkness. It is when I am the most honest, when I speak most freely, and expose myself. The wee hours of the morning allow me to admit to the places in life I come up short, to realize just how little I really know about life and marriage and all the things a person might wrestle with as they travel their worldly journey. Running takes all the uglies inside of me, brings them to the top and allows them to crack through the surface. Sometimes, I cry for things lost and days past. Other times, the rage within me can only be quelled by a workout so intense it would be frightening to witness. But mostly, I find joy out on the road. I clear my heart and I clear my mind and I make a little more peace with my place in the world and a mission too big to accomplish alone.

Maybe therein lies the answer to the black water. Maybe each drop of sweat carries a little of the blackness and darkness from inside my heart to the outside and each breath of the fresh morning air replaces it with lightness and joy……. Who knows? What I do know is that no matter how good or bad life is at any moment, I have a constant. Every morning I can get up and lace up my shoes. Sophie will always meet me at the door and God is always waiting to talk knowing I will discover another piece of the puzzle in the miles ahead. And when I return all sweaty and tired, my clothes will contain the filth. They won’t look dirty, but every stitch will be full of the worry and fret I left behind. And me? My heart will be full of the joy and possibility of a new day, a new challenge, a new mountain to conquer.

1 comment: