Monday, February 4, 2013

Running and Relaxing in Sedona

This past weekend I met my friend Rosie in Sedona to race the half marathon and relax in the red rock desert. Sedona felt magical to me. Magical in a way I’ve never felt in a place. 

A town is made of rock, pavement, people, memories. But in Sedona I felt an energy; an energy I’ve never felt before and not sure I can explain.

The energy didn’t make me want to live there or even come back again (although I may). This weekend I was the most relaxed I’ve ever felt. It may have something to do with the fact that Rosie is the most relaxed person I know. She has taught me how to slow down by example – not by saying “Relax”, which she knows I hate. She is not anxious, hurried or worried about anything. I wish I could be more like that. However, this weekend, I was. 

I signed up for the Sedona Half Marathon on a whim when I got an email about the race. I looked at the website for about ten minutes and then signed up. I had never been to Sedona and wanted to see the red rocks, and try a different running race course. A few months after signing up, Rosie said she wanted to do it too. We looked at some lodging options and she found a rental online.

The rental house she found was amazing.

It was a big apartment in a house in a residential area just outside of town. The name of the rental was Circle of Atonement. The woman who rents the house tells us she teaches the Course in Miracles. I read A return to Love : Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson many years ago. I might need to read it again.

In the backyard was a garden and despite the winter season, the yard was lovely. The first day I sat and looked out to the mountain across the way where red rocks occasionally could be seen between green trees. I sat for a long time with the most stillness I have ever known; just watching, looking, listening. 

The Garden with a View

On Saturday morning I ran the half marathon at my usual 10 minute/mile pace. The course was hilly, many ups and downs, and I walked a bit of it. This race wasn’t going to be a PR, but it was okay. I wish I could push myself to run until I puke, but I don’t have it in me. It was a gorgeous sunny day, not too hot and not cold. I finished the race just over two hours, and watched Rosie finish a few minutes after me. We got our medals and headed back to the rental.

I’ve been carrying a sense of stillness and wonder all day thinking about Sedona. I love it when a place can change you. 
Rosie contemplating her life while drinking a mocha. Sedona 2013

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