Written by Marie Coveley
I suppose you could say that I am working through my movement bucket list!
Next up - I am rather taken with the fact that people of the Cape like to run and further more you like to run in interesting places other than the mundane obvious choice you call a pavement.
Trail running! Not only does it look cool but it's an amazing form of exercise. Whether you are running or marching up a mountain face. You do it with such intent anyone would think there was a wine bar at the top!
The whole point and focus of coming to Cape Town was to avoid the obvious choices for exercise. How can you articulate your body in the most enjoyable ways possible, tapping into not just your physical body but your emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. How can we encompass this in one hit?
My answer for that is Lions Head. This is known to be a powerful energy portal. Table Mountain and I'm sure many others, have portals hovering above their beautiful solid masses. This is why we look at them in such awe and feel their presence even at a distance. So now you wanna run up it? Hell YEAH, now we're talkin'!
So I pull on my Nike Air Max, grab my water, grab my kids and we hit that climb...
So it was a little more challenging than I had surmised. I kept my head down, my heart focussed and got stuck in. When I felt I was at the stage my lungs were about to burst I took a pause and took in the view. Hmmm no view as I was still near the road! Not very epic for a first effort! Ok so a little work needed on my fitness if I am to support this mode of movement. But hey, whatever, it's a process and processes are there to be enjoyed and challenged, never forget that.
There is a certain fire, a little furnace of grit and determination that flows through you when running at pace up the uneven rocks and steps. There is a presence that comes with the sheer concentration of which foot are you going to place where. The precision and articulation of this way of moving is a real buzz. I can't explain it any other way. And when you're in that mode of stamina & strength, you don't fatigue like you would if you were stuck on a treadmill doing a great impression of a hamster that's lost its will to live!
You pause for a second, feeling your lungs inflate as you breath in the sweet, cleansing, energizing air. Raising your gaze only for a moment to be blown away by the expansive view of the Motherland. Right then, in that moment of presence and maximized awareness you experience the fullness of your spiritual, mental and emotional bodies. All chakras open and spinning like Catherine wheels! That essentially is the essence of taking your physical workout to a spiritual practice. As much as I adore yoga and Pilates, it's not just the mat that can give you these types of experiences. It's the location that can most certainly set the scene, the mindset to commit to the experience and the heart centre that takes that experience to a place you've never been before.
Eventually my trail run turns into a proper mountain climb. My heart still thumps hard in my chest as I cling to each rock like my life depends on it. That bucket list I spoke of may just turn into a reality right now! Feeling a little beaten as my kids literally scuttle up the rock face like distant relatives of Spider-Man. No problem. I got this!!
I raise my focus to the final leg of this phenomenal mountain climb. As the final climb morphed into a new level of steepness I began to get a little fearful. My ego mind told me to turn around. "Don't climb to the top, no need, you've done most of it, something bad might happen." I stopped and contemplated a quick way out and down! Suddenly, from the peak of the mountain, through my fog of failure jumped a family! Mother, Father and a six month old baby snugly tucked in the back back. And to add insult to injury, they were swiftly followed by their family dog, a little Jack Russell. Oh hell no! I am getting to the top. Right then in that moment I dug deep and ascended to the peak. I clambered to the top, hot, sweaty and in need of oxygen only to be met by my kids who had given up waiting for me and had started working on their tans!! What a rush. What a view!
The mountain for me was so symbolic. Set your scene as well as your focus, love what you are doing and do what you are loving, push through that fog and if you can be that baby in the back pack, go for it. Nothing wrong with being carried now and again!