Is it possible for literally everything to go wrong in one day? I thought to myself as I angrily laced up my sneakers.
It was a Tuesday, and I'd slept through my morning yoga class. A mere 45 minutes later, I spilled hot coffee all over my white pants. I got chewed out by a co-worker before lunch, and at 2 p.m. I realized I had a major typo in one of my article headlines. To make matters worse, my computer decided to completely stop working. On my way home, my water bottle spilled in my bag, and by the time I finally made it through the door of my apartment I was definitely in tears.
So I did what I always do when anything is bothering me: I went for a run. It was a hot evening, but I didn't care. The sun was setting, my feet were rhythmically pounding the pavement, my breath was even, and suddenly all my troubles seemed to melt away.
Every little thing I had been obsessing over didn't seem like such a big deal. Tomorrow was a new day. I got lost in more positive thoughts, and soon I wasn't thinking at all—until I heard a faraway voice and quickly noticed a biker was scowling at me.
"Watch where you're going! You should be paying more attention!" she shouted.
I tried to apologize, but she had already pedaled away. What had happened? I didn't even have headphones in. I'd totally lost touch with my bad day and reality, apparently.
Then I suddenly realized something: I'd been meditating. Kind of.
I've been into yoga since college, so friends often refer to me as being "Zen." I used to laugh it off, saying, "You'd be surprised. I can't meditate to save my life!"
Recently, though, I decided to truly dedicate myself to a daily meditation practice. The concept of sitting still for even a few minutes is still incredibly difficult for me, but it isn't quite as difficult as I'd anticipated—because I've done before.
Every time I went for a run and got lost in my thoughts, I was meditating.
So, what's so meditative about running?