The Dash

This morning I got up a little earlier than I usually do on Sundays so I could get my eight mile long run in and head out to my home town for a memorial service for the mother of one of my best friends. We met when we were in junior high and have stayed friends all of these years. I dashed out the door to run, happy that my trainer had scheduled today’s long run as a zone two to three run. My heart rate in zone two is 110 to 121 and for zone three it is 122 to 153. Since I was pressed for time, my goal was to stay under 140. I ran well, felt very good the entire run and I had an average heart rate of 137. It also helped that the weather was a repeat of yesterday with heavy cloud cover and a threat of rain. I didn’t get rained on and it was very humid, so having the cloud cover helped. After my run I had 6 excel runs of 20 seconds each. In the past I have done them on a treadmill. Today I ran across a dam in my neighborhood which is very flat. So I dashed across, walked to recover and dashed back. This is helping me adapt to a faster turnover in my step.

As soon as I finished I only had a little under an hour to have something to eat, shower, and head out. I grabbed a Muscle Milk bottle, hard boiled egg, and a cheese stick from the refrigerator and dashed upstairs to get ready. With just a few minutes to spare I walked the dogs and hopped in the car. It is close to an hour drive and as much as I wanted to dash down the roads, I was careful to be within a reasonable range of the posted speed limit. My friend’s mother loved to sew. She would sew clothes as well as crafts.  One of her trade marks was making teddy bears. I was fortunate to be a recipient of one such bear. The family had asked if people had a bear, pillow, or doll she had made to bring it to the memorial. The grown woman I am was so happy to have my teddy bear in arm as I walked through the parking lot and met my sister. The service was held at a lovely carriage house on the grounds of a mansion that has been turned into an event area.

We took our seats and I felt the first breath of rest as I sat down. From the moment I woke I was dashing to run, get dressed, or drive. One of the speakers was a long time friend of the family and she read a poem by Linda Ellis called The Dash. Being a runner, I first thought it was an analogy of running and life. Not even close. The poem focuses on the dash between the dates on a tombstone. From birth year to death year, for example 1931 – 2012. After living a long life, the dash is what is left to signify the time of living. One line from the poem is: “What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.” I was very touched by the entire poem and its focus. My friend’s mother lived her dash well living and loving life to the fullest. All too often we live a dash by dashing from one place to another. When what matters most is what we are able to do with the time we have that makes up the dash.  I want to make a mark, a dash, that inspires others. It could be in fitness, friendship, caring, patience, loving, and so much more. Do I live it fully every day? Not at all. But after today, I am much more aware of how I live and love. And how I spend my dash.

Published by elisariva

I want to encourage everyone to follow your passions, not just what is easy. It is in overcoming hurdles and barriers that we truly test our limits and abilities. There is much more we are capable of if we only believe in ourselves.

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