Waiting for More

I doubt I’m alone when I feel that that emphasis of the phrase “waiting for more” is put on the “more” portion of the phrase or the object of the “more.” Waiting for more free time, more money, more patience, more compassion, more whatever. Indeed, when I share the concept of the article with Meghan mid-writing, she asked, “more what?” However, this evening I was reminded of the occasions and situations in my life when I’ve put the emphasis on the “waiting” part of the phrase.

The concept popped into my mind as I finished a five-minute Headspace meditation session. It had taken until sometime around 8 p.m. to carve out those few minutes, even though I’d rather meditate in the peace of my living room in the morning or in the midday sun in the backyard. It wasn’t the first time I’ve had this same thought about meditation in the past week or two: that I wanted to do a 10-minute session. I’d primarily done 10-minute meditations through most of last year and into this winter, but, since then, I’ve been far too busy to routinely make that time… and felt stressed when I did, so I cut down to daily five- or even three-minute sessions. And, honestly, even those short sessions were often a challenge both in finding the time and being into the meditation once I had. However, this evening in the backyard as night fell, and a few other times recently, as I wrapped up meditation, I thought, “I want more.” I’m getting eager. I’m getting antsy. But, I’m waiting for more.

Mount Kendall - garden meditation view

My favorite summertime meditation spot.

Something similar is happening with my running these days. Yes, I am running every day, even if I wrote about taking a break in my column last month. Fortunately, this time has felt like a break from running, as it was intended to do. I don’t care to look at my logs over the past month, but since covering the Western States 100, I’ve been running the same 2.5-mile loop nearly every day. A few weeks ago, it was as challenging mentally and physically as when I decided to take my break. During these times, I felt like turning around in the first few very slightly uphill blocks. I kept going, but grudgingly so. That’s not been the case on a few runs of late. Yes, I still walk a section or two that are steeper grades (I’m at 9,300 feet above sea level, after all), butI  am running most everything else and, for the most part, enjoying it. It can be physically challenging, but I can lean into that rather than back away. I still feel out of shape and remain a few pounds heavier than I’d like to be over the summer, but the act of running is getting a bit easier and a lot more enjoyable. Sunday evening, I indulged in 5.5 miles, so I could run the trail on which I led a trail-work crew earlier in the day. The day before and today and a few others of late, I’ve been wanting more. There’s a little bit of eagerness in there… and a little bit of, “can I?,” as well. But, I’m waiting for more.

July 2021 Trail Work

The freshly worked trail from that indulgent 5.5-mile run.

As I wrapped up that short meditation this evening, I thought of my eagerness to meditate for longer, the urge to run for longer that I’ve been feeling of late, as well as a principle I’ve long adhered to after 100-mile (or longer) outings. That is, to wait until I wanted to run again and then wait a few more days. Waiting for more has been a part of my running for more than 15 years. I would wait for more body to want to run again, and then wait a few more days before running after a big race. My mind’s a bit hazy on the distant past, but I seem to recall that once I wanted to train again after a hard effort at a shorter ultramarathon or any longer ultra, I’d wait until I wanted to train again and, then, wait for more. I’d always give my body and mind a few more days to recover and a few more days to build eagerness and enthusiasm and energy for the next step forward.

And that eagerness and enthusiasm and energy is some sort of unspoken and, perhaps, unspeakable benefit of here… of waiting for more. Indeed, this is an article in my column that’s not supposed to be written. During my “break” from running, I was also going to take a break from writing this column, but, low and behold, I felt an eagerness and enthusiasm and energy to write this column tonight despite endless 12-hour days of work. In the spontaneity of writing this piece, a je ne sais quoi that I can barely contain. It’s that same feeling I have in my meditation and my running at the moment and that I’ve had in pushing back restarting or stepping up my running after long or taxing ultras in the past. It’s unbelievable… and almost unbearable… and it’s simply amazing, but I think I’m still waiting for more.

Call for Comments

When has waiting for more paid off for you and how?

June 2 2021 - Silverton Sunset

An early June evening on my short loop above town. Photo: Bryon Powell