The importance of rest

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This video isn’t officially about rest, it’s about barefoot running, which, if you are a barefoot runner or want to be one, you will find interesting.  Although it’s actually about a book about running… But I digress…

I realized today, while running, that I almost never STOP.  Like really stop.  Do nothing.  Just sit.  Even while sleeping, my dreams are crazy and busy, and now, at mid-life, I’ve got all kinds of lovely physical changes to keep me from totally relaxing.

So, what does that have to do with this video?   There’s a piece of it that describes how hunters, pre-weapons, were able to catch their prey, by tracking and running.  Until the exhausted animal, who, unable to regulate their body temperature, slows down and eventually collapses from heat stroke.  And it occurred to me that that is essentially what we humans do, even though for the most part, we have no idea how close we are to collapse.  I don’t think we’re very good at self-regulation either,  though we might think we are.  Most of us run/go/text/work/help/etc. without real rest until suffer our own kind of heat stroke – literally or figuratively.

Lots of us have put restorative practices in place – yoga, art, vacations, going “offline”.  Certainly there is enough attention on being in the moment, or meditating, the slow life, etc. to have resulted in a heightened awareness.  And we probably all know people who “never saw it coming” and we think “oh that won’t happen to me” or make a concerted effort to ensure it doesn’t.  But I wonder whether we are always “on” in some way?  I definitely am.  Always thinking, planning, running errands, catching up, working – it’s endless.  Even when I sit down to watch something PVR’d (which makes getting it watched so much faster so that I can do something else), I’m doing something else.  Unbelievable.  So I’m considering – just considering, since I’m pretty addicted to endless input sadly – actually stopping for at least a tiny part of each day.  Because though I seem to be healthy and able to keep up this pace, some part of me knows that all this running can’t possibly last.

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