Suffering is Optional

Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Just as I discovered kink in my 50′s, I also discovered running.  I was never a runner and believed those people out there running and inhaling the auto exhaust were insane.  I enjoyed other outdoor activities but running was not on my bucket list.  When I hit my 50′s, I realized the pounds had slowly crept upward, I was sluggish and tired all the time, and when I looked at other middle aged women, I could see the future.  I vowed to get into shape or at the minimum, I wanted to be healthy.  I started walking and gradually evolved to running a few minutes, then ten’s of minutes, then hours until now I run in half-marathons.  I became a passionate runner and I hope to stay a runner as I get older and continually find new running goals.  I also read about running and love the above quote because in its simplicity, it captures the essence of running and perhaps of how life is.

When I begin a run, I do not always start out with this gung ho attitude but I drag myself out there anyway and fight the mental excuse list that I carry around inside me.  ”Oh I should do the laundry”, “I should clean the house” .. you get the drift but there is a louder voice saying “You must run!” and that is that.  It always hurts to breathe for the first 5 minutes of my run and the urge to stop is there, to give up, to crawl back onto the couch and have a cookie; it is a very tough urge to overcome!  I find the only way to keep going is to never stop or give into that urge but to just keep swimming. Wait! I mean running.  I know after 5 minutes, my breathing will become steady and the pain will stop and in fact, my breathing is seldom labored and there is no panting or gasping for air.

I settle in as the first few miles are passed and my legs find their rhythm and my thoughts turn to looking at other people, the trees and the lake and I listen to my ipod.  I think of Sir, submission, my life, questions, answers and many other topics.  It is my time of introspection.  Everything becomes clear and I feel so much smarter than my normal day to day confused self.  Unfortunately, the answers are never clear once I stop running and even though I have attempted to write the answers to life’s problems down on my phone mid-run, the new found knowledge is never as clear as when I run.  I believe this is the time called the runner’s high and my brain is swimming in a soup of endorphins.

Once I hit 5 miles different body parts start to twinge and wake me from my contemplation.  The twinges float throughout my body randomly from my knees, to my feet, to my back or my hip and I keep running or I may stop and stretch and then resume running.  I know soon after all the hurts will join together into a orchestration of pain and I will remember suffering is optional.  The desire to stop and curl up into a little ball on the side of the trail is there but I don’t take that option, I keep running.  I mold the pain into a ball and put it into a little room and not dwell on it.  Of course, the door opens occasionally and I must stuff it back into the room and add a few more locks on the door but my legs keep propelling me forward.  There is that moment where my legs feel a separate body and they stride forward like an automaton.   Sometimes I actually speed up and I can’t slow down although I know my pace is too fast.  I struggle to finish the run as I deny the suffering and know it is my choice to identify my pain and feelings as suffering or as a wonderful feeling of freedom.  I keep choosing freedom run after run.

I can’t help but think how my relationship with Sir is reflected in my run.  My internal fight to submit to Sir is reflected in that urge to stop running but I also find freedom in my submission just as I find freedom in running.  It is the moment of surrender to Sir or to running and turning from the easier path of escape from Sir or sitting down on the trail that I enjoy.  I seek the harder path always but oh how simple (but yet unsatisfying) that other path looks.  There are also similarities to the way I process pain and deny its existence and find pleasure in the tightness of ropes or the sting of a whip.  There is a need inside me that seeks a containment of self, body, and emotions that obedience, bondage, pain and running satisfies.  It is as if I have no choice in the end although I know I do but then that is a denial of myself.

About bonimiss

bonimiss only found her kinky side in her early 50s and thankfully found Sir shortly after. She is is a long distance journey with Sir and is constantly amazed at the new and exciting experiences and discoveries. You can contact her at bonimiss through the Submissive Guide Community.
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