Leading the pre-run stretch was Kristin McGee, who is one of my first yoga instructors when I moved to the city after college. I was overjoyed to catch up with Mrs. McGee who is now one of the most renowned teachers on the East Coast. She has contagious sense of humor, which is a good thing when you're about to run a race.
I had flashbacks to races I ran regularly as a cross country running in high school which quickly faded as we left the starting gate. Once the hard core runners left the pack, I settled into stride with my yoga peeps. This was not a race against other runners, it was a race against the barriers to mindfulness that are constant in the city. After the cars, trains and crowds I endured to get all the way down to Prospect Park, time seemed to stand still.
Often when I run I'm listening to music or taking in the surroundings if I'm outside. I let my mind wander and make a conscious effort to think about anything other than exactly what I'm doing. The monotony of putting one foot in front of the other, over long distances, is usually not something I like to think about. Running with a bunch of yogis, I was able to find the joy in the stride. The space between strides seemed to lengthen. I observed the air between my feet and the ground and the inertia of the pack. If at any point a running seemed to fatigue, they were swept up in the wave of positive energy, cheers and encouragement.
I've never enjoyed running in a race as much as I did this weekend. So much gratitude goes out to all who participated and helped organize Wanderlust Brooklyn. I hope they do this again next year!
|Kristin McGee and Wanderlust Brooklyn Organizers|