30 Good Things Before 30: #25 – 21-Day Meditation Experience

Happy Thursday! Although the holiday makes it feel like Monday and also kind of like Friday. I don’t know why.

Anyhow, this evening finds me relaxing on the couch with my pup after a challenging 10km tempo run.

I had a visit with my foam roller, my husband bought me one of these:

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Yep, that was a Chocolate Chill…

And I am now content just lying here, sipping water, breathing deeply. Calm and almost meditative.

Almost.

30-good-things-before-30Sadly, I’ve kind of fallen off the meditation bandwagon. Life happened.

But then, just when I needed it, what showed up in my email inbox one day? An invitation to #25 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30:


21-Day Meditation Experience

So Oprah Winfrey teamed up with Deepak Chopra and started creating these free 21-Day Meditation Experiences.

The idea is that each day, a new audio meditation shows up in your inbox, you take 20 minutes out of your day to practice, and then have the option of journaling about several reflective questions from your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

They’ve done five of these so far, focused on themes like “Creating Abundance,” “Desire and Destiny” and “Find Your Flow.” I’ve participated in a couple — the most recent this winter.

And they’re great. For those 21 days. And for a little while after.

But eventually life happens. And you get out of the habit, which is exactly where I’m at lately.

Luckily, the newest 21-Day Meditation Experience is right around the corner, starting on July 13. This one focuses on “Manifesting Grace Through Gratitude.”

There’s a YouTube promo, if you’re interested.

The video is a little infomercially, but the experience itself is legit.

If you’ve ever been curious about meditation, this is a great way to try it out. It’s simple, convenient, and, for me at least, surprisingly empowering. You can register for free over here.

What’s your favourite thing to do after a tough run?

Do you meditate or are you interested in trying meditation?

Do you miss Oprah being on TV? (Because I do, guys!)

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Zen and the art of treadmill maintenance

Today’s run: TBD

I’ve been meditating lately (yep, hot yoga last week, meditating this week: I’m that girl). Specifically, I’ve been working through Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience: Manifesting True Success.

Each day, a link to a new guided meditation shows up in my inbox. I barricade myself in my office, light a candle or some incense, sit cross-legged on my dog’s bed, and let Oprah and Deepak guide me from “limiting beliefs” to discovering that my successes can be “infinite.”

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“You’re stealing my bed to do what?”

You may think this sounds ridiculous. And if you could talk to 19-year-old me, she’d agree and you could conspire about how lame and new-agey I’ve become over a pitcher of Alpine.

Historically, I’ve been a firm believer in the glorification of busy. I’ve equated success with being constantly on the move or, failing that, at least having a brain that was operating at breakneck speeds.

I’m starting to figure out there’s little glory in dashing through life like it’s a race to the finish line (ironic coming from a runner, no?) and that a few minutes of stillness, deep breathing and turning inward is way more fruitful than several hours with a mind so busy its focus is split in a dozen different directions.

I’m in Week 2 of my meditation experience and we’re starting to focus on making SMART choices. Yep, that’s an acronym. And yep, I’m aware of how super-dorky it sounds, but bear with me.

SMART choices encompass the following:

S – Stretch more than you can reach

M – Make everything measurable

A – Agreement with your inner self and those around you

R – Record your progress

T – Time limits for acting and getting a result

I’m still new to the SMART doctrine, In fact, so far, I’ve only been introduced to S, which essentially just asks that I move beyond my comfort zone and familiar boundaries.

And that’s how I found myself here yesterday:

I’m fortunate enough to have a treadmill in my home gym. I’m also fortunate enough to have a husband who is rather handy and generally takes care of the related maintenance. Not because I can’t do it. But because I don’t wanna. And because that’s just one of the benefits of having a husband.

This past week, my treadmill started skipping. At best, it was super-annoying. At worst? Kind of dangerous. I let dear hubby know that the belt needed to be tensioned and lubricated. And he promised he’d get to it.

But then, of course, life happened. He worked a week of 14-hour days, coming home just to sleep. On Friday, as he was running late for an out-of-town, all-weekend engagement, he gave me a call to let me know that, once again, he wouldn’t have time for the treadmill.

“I’ve got a great idea for your blog,” he said. “Write about fixing your treadmill. It’s something every runner has to do at some point, right?”

Well-played, sir. Well-played.

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Tools of the trade (including what would turn out to be the wrong T-handled thingy)

So trying very hard to stretch more that I can reach, I marched into the gym, busted out the owner’s manual and got to work. I learned a couple of things:

  1. Read the instructions. Read all the instructions. I did pretty much everything wrong because I gave the instructions a very casual perusal and then just did what I thought should be done. This included loosening the belt, even though it didn’t need to be loosened, trying to run the treadmill while the belt was still loosened, and doing the exact opposite of what I should have done to center the belt. Essentially, not reading the instructions turned what should have been a 15-minute job into an hour-long one. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the necessary tools. I also wasted a lot of time trying to adjust the belt using the wrong T-handled thingy. The treadmill comes with two T-handled thingies. I don’t know why. I don’t care why. But this would have been handy to know from the get-go. I was also using a new-to-me piece of technology called the Lube-N-Walk. It’s designed to simplify this process because you can just slide it under the belt, saving you from loosening it in order to apply the lubricant. I didn’t know this. So I wasted a lot of time (see above).

In the end, the mission was (mostly) a success. I took my freshly-lubricated, newly-tensioned treadmill for a 6-mile trial run and it worked. Only had to readjust the belt once.

Today I might take it for another spin and enjoy the fruits of stretching beyond my reach. But not until I do some meditation because after that nonsense, my state of zen is in need of some serious restoration.

Namaste, y’all.