Obituary names for the day:  Willa Dean, Elois, LeVerne, & Nola.  Thanks, dad.  🙂

Last night I went to my first-ever meditation at the Shambhala Center here in Birmingham, Alabama.  I actually brought Mike with me since he is into stuff like that (my dear friend Chez originally told me about it and met us there).  They have meditation every Monday, Tuesday & Thursday from 7-8 for local friends who might be interested.  Since we had a 4 newbies there, the leader of the meditations brought us back into another room to teach us how it is done while the regulars went on with their normal routine.  So to briefly summarize almost an hour’s worth of instruction, she basically said that you have to separate yourself from your mind.  You sit in a tall upright position with your hands on your thighs and you can either close your eyes or softly gaze down about 5-6 feet in front of you.  The goal is to have no thoughts and to only focus on your breath.  However, she said for even the most practiced meditators that this is almost impossible to do consistently for long periods of time.  When you catch yourself  thinking about something, internally repeat the words “thoughts” or “thinking” so you know you’ve drifted away from your breath.  The whole purpose is to be present in the moment.  They even practice a walking meditation where you concentrate on your steps instead of your breath.  The typical session consists of 25 minutes of sitting, 10 minutes of walking, then 25 more minutes of sitting.  I did find it to be a calming experience while also being very difficult to master.  She said that it’s very important to not “grade” yourself and to not have “goals”… which is basically the opposite of how I operate on any given day.  🙂  I’m going to give it another shot tonight to see if it’s for me.  I may even try to start doing 10 minute sessions on my own everyday to see what benefits I receive from it. 

Afterwards, Mike and I talked about how strange it was to be living apart.  We keep questioning ourselves as to if we moved to quickly, but we know deep down that these are the steps that we had to take.  Tomorrow night we have a standing “date” night where we plan to eat together & watch some of our favorite television shows (right now it’s the Top Chef season finale).  I am also going to start going home during my lunch breaks to play with our kitties so they don’t forget who I am.  🙂  It seems like the roller coaster of emotions is subsiding just a little, and now it’s just a matter of adapting to a pretty significant change in our lives.  It’s a learning process.

Before I go, I wanted to give a quick knee update!  I went to see Dr. Fagan yesteray and I got a great report back.  I am right on track, as my type of injury take 6-8 weeks to recover from (and I am at week 7 right now).  I have one more appointment with her on April 12 (the week of my Half Ironman on the 17th) to see where it is at that time.  It’s gonna be a close call on the run… and honestly, I still won’t know for sure until I’m out there actually doing the race.  So for now, I am continuing my goal to complete the swim & bike, and finishing the run will just be the icing on the cake if I’m able to do it.  I feel like I’m not carrying the world on my shoulders anymore by lifting some of the expectations.  Now, I can just relax and enjoy the race!