Marathons, Mindfulness and Love

by Helen Williams

Recently I spent several days exploring the absolute beauty of the city of Prague, walking the old streets, attending recitals and concerts in the stunning beauty of historic churches and cathedrals, and enjoying excellent and abundant food!  However, what actually moved me to tears and encourages me now to write was the lived experience of ‘stumbling’ by accident upon thousands of runners participating in the Prague Marathon.

I stopped to watch and simply couldn’t tear myself away.  Found myself moved to tears and wondered why?  I don’t run!!  Not even to the nearest lamp post!  And yet here I was completely absorbed by the energy of it all, watching these runners labouring hard, intent on their next step, aware of their bodies, the noticeable pain on some faces, their heaving chests and sweating bodies, all present in the moment.

I wandered on and found myself at the 32 km mark, hordes of people cheering, yelling, clapping and encouraging the runners – multitudes of languages spoken, but all in the language of enthusiasm, support, caring and encouragement.

And then it struck me!  I am feeling so deeply touched by all the caring that surrounds me on all sides.  People sending loving, considered encouragement to each other, all at one with the purpose in front of them – to run their best for themselves and for their teams.

Such a spirit of unity and connectedness is deeply moving to be a part of.  I stood there for nearly 2 hours and enjoyed every moment of it.

This is Mindful awareness at its best.