Monthly Archives: May 2016

Run to the Shrine (With Kids!)

The first time I did Run to the Shrine, I was good and pregnant. Last year, the hill completely defeated me (to my dismay). This year, instead of being about me doing anything, I made it about doing something with my daughter.

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Recently, I have been working on running with my daughter. She’s now 5 so we have been practicing the 5K distance. She has completed some with some success (and some with less than success). She seems to be learning and improving, and I am also learning to be patient and adjust my expectations. I think it has been good for both of us.

I decided to take her with me to Run to the Shrine because it is conducted at our local zoo, which is one of our favorite places. However, her father pointed out that expecting a 5 year-old to walk 2 miles up a mountain then back and then behave at the zoo all day was unreasonable. I could not deny his logic, so we compromised. I wore my daughter on my back for 1.5 miles up; then she walked the last .5 mile up and 1 mile down.

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On a normal day, this would have been a brilliant plan. However, the unpredictable Colorado springtime decided to lob some frigid foggy weather our way instead. It was cold, really quite cold, especially when a icy mountain breeze would start tickling the route.

My daughter did great on my back. I believe she might have fallen asleep on my shoulder if I let her. I also finally felt the fruits of all my work. Walking up a mountain, wearing a 30 pound child felt like nothing. I wasn’t fatigued; I wasn’t winded. It felt easy, which, in itself, was amazing. It is nice to see the results of all my self-torture occasionally.

When I put my daughter down to complete her half of the race, things did not go as simply. Mostly, she was cold. Even in her coat plus my coat plus my attempts to get her to jog to warm up, she was just very cold.  She held it together well. She contained her whining and crying and pushed through (yes, it is because I bribed her but still). We walked the majority of the way until her father came back for her. He has the talent to always convince her to keep going while thinking it’s a game.

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I loved watching them run together. I loved watching him motivate her in ways I couldn’t. He has a talent to be able to make our children forget the hard parts. But she finished her mile and half. She ran across the finish line, and I was very proud of her.

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Unfortunately, it was too cold to enjoy the zoo afterward. However, everyone seemed happy enough to sip hot chocolate instead. End to end, it was an enjoyable race experience. Maybe next time there will be sun.

 

Christina Bergling

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SavagesCoverChristinaSavages

Two survivors search the ruins of America for the last strain of humanity. Marcus believes they are still human; Parker knows her own darkness. Until one discovery changes everything.

Available now on Amazon!
savagesnovella.com

TheWaning_CoverThe Waning

Beatrix woke up in a cage. Can she survive long enough to escape, or will he succeed at breaking her down into a possession?

Available now on Amazon!
thewaning.com

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Things I Learned About Distance Running from Getting Tattooed

I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday, at a less than reputable shop from a less than skilled artist. By the time I picked up running about a decade later, I had accumulated a good peppering of ink. Most recently, I lay on the tattoo table a couple days ago to get my son’s name scratched into my back. As I breathed and thought my way through the sensations ripping at my nerves, I had the rolling realizations of just how much going through the process of getting tattooed is like going on a long distance run for me.

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It hurts the most in the beginning. And the very end. That first bite on the liner is the most vivid. Your skin screams as your nerves lobby your brain to change your mind, call it off, give up. Just like those first two miles of the run. When your mind finds a million reasons why you should run slower, start walking, turn back. But if you’re stubborn enough, if you commit through your body’s whimpers and your mind’s games, the pain fades, spreads and stretches out, dulls. Somewhere in the middle, it might even become pleasant. The shader might feel like a massage working after the liner. You might find a float in the sixth mile. You forget how much it hurt to start with and remember why you decided to do it in the first place. Until the end is in sight. As the needle spins in the final color or the last mile unfolds before you, the wall rears up. You find yourself back to counting seconds, measuring strides, writhing in your own body to just get it over with.

Breathing is the most important. Yoga taught me this lesson for both. For tattoos. For running. For child birth. Really, for living. Breathing is the most important. You can get through anything if you breathe. You can change the pain with your breath; you can move it around on your nerves, realign it in your brain. As the needle seems to slice your skin and your muscles attempt to contract in retreat, you breathe them back into place; you push the breath to them to calm them. As your heart rate rises with each stride and the heat builds in your face, you breathe to control your body, to keep moving. Breathing is what gets you though.

It is all in your head. Pain is in your head. Sure, it starts with the body, with messages from your nerves, but your brain decides how to process and react to it. Your mind decides if you are stubborn or committed enough to push through it. You draw the line in your head. Whether it is the tearing vibration of the tattoo gun or the burning exhaustion in your legs, in your head, you take that pain and decide if you will heed or ignore it. You want that tattoo enough to have it carved into your flesh. You want that run, that time enough to run past the feeling of dying.

It is totally worth it. En-fucking-dorphins! After the blood is wiped clean, the raw skin hums happily; the smile stretches your face. After the finish line passes and the sprint dies, your entire body throbs with success, vibrates with the runner high. In that blissful moment, the pain and the struggle fade from memory, disappear from reality. All that is left is what you achieved, what you got from the sacrifice. In the end, it is all worth it, all more than worth it. And you already start thinking about the next time you will do it.

 

Christina Bergling

christinabergling.com
facebook.com/chrstnabergling
@ChrstnaBergling
chrstnaberglingfierypen.wordpress.com
pinterest.com/chrstnabergling

SavagesCoverChristinaSavages

Two survivors search the ruins of America for the last strain of humanity. Marcus believes they are still human; Parker knows her own darkness. Until one discovery changes everything.

Available now on Amazon!
savagesnovella.com

TheWaning_CoverThe Waning

Beatrix woke up in a cage. Can she survive long enough to escape, or will he succeed at breaking her down into a possession?

Available now on Amazon!
thewaning.com