Vilma Reynoso

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Aim to Live

I’m a runner.

I often get the question every runner gets, “Why do you run?” My response to that question varies depending on what state of mind I am in and how I feel. You see, there are many reasons why runners run. We run because it feels good during the run; we run because it feels good after the run; we run for better mental focus; we run for better health. We run to challenge ourselves, to stretch ourselves, to strengthen our muscles, and to lose weight or stay in good shape. We run because it makes us feel like we are invincible, and we like to feel that way.  We run because we are competitive. Running is meditation. It is prayer. We run because we can; we run because we love to live.

As an experienced runner, I have ran different races from 1 mile to 5 and 10k’s (3.1 mile and 6.2 mile races), and longer distances as well as half marathons (13.1 miles) in addition to running in high school on the cross country and track teams.  There is not one single race that is the same as another. Every race is different: the distance, the terrain, the temperature, and the spirit of the race always varies. One thing, however, that is constant is the beginning and the end of any race. I know where to start the race I am participating in and I also know where it ends. What I don’t know is what is in between the start and finish lines. Sure, I could study the race course before I start running, but I really don’t know what I will experience before I actually run, step by step, to reach that finish line, nor do I know what is around the bend in a race, or in a terrain I have not ran before, but because my goal is to finish, I keep running. I realized that when I have a vision of something I would like to accomplish, the same dynamics apply: I have to take it one step at a time and sooner or later, I reach the finish line. Running is like life. We are here to start and finish our races. Just like I imagine what it will feel like and look like crossing that finish line, we imagine what it will feel like and look like to accomplish our goals. It starts with a vision in our minds. We envision our goal and then take the steps to make that vision a reality. Like a runner who does not intimately know a race course but continues to move towards his goal (the finish line) by putting one foot in front of the other, we also reach our goals by taking small steps.

Furthermore, as a runner in a race, I have to be in the present, and simultaneously, I have to keep my mind on the end goal, the finish line, or my vision. When I stay in the present, I receive the gifts life gives me along the way and I enjoy the journey. If my mind strays from the present and from my goal, then I am tempted to quit the race. Of course, there were many races that I participated in where I wanted to quit, but I kept my mind on the finish line. I knew that it did not matter if I couldn’t see the whole picture (the whole race course); what mattered was that I kept my vision, with faith and courage every step of the way. Although I have crossed the finish line of every race I have ever participated in, there are some that I barely finished or finished injured. Those were the races where I was not prepared mentally or I doubted my vision when the rain, fog, snow, wind or excess heat came forth. I learned that if I had not had my mind on the finish line, I would have quit running when rain or snow hit. When we set goals, problems might arise, but if we keep our minds on our vision, we will persevere through those problems.

Goals give us direction. Direction gives us purpose. Purpose gives us a feeling of well-being. Well-being is true life. Whatever your goal might be, do not be anxious. Instead, be in the present aware of each moment and also expect the finish line.  Know the end goal is coming, envision and feel your goal, and act as if you know, without a doubt, that you will receive it. Be grateful for whatever circumstance you are in while expecting your goal because this is your personal race course. Live in the present and do not worry about the future or the past. You might have some problems along the way towards your goal, but know these are only temporary roadblocks. Enjoy the journey. Be content. Be at peace. Know that whatever happens along the way happens to teach you something about yourself. Practice these things, and you will truly live.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”Henry Miller

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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26.2 Happens

Today was the day I was supposed to have finished my first marathon – 26.2 miles – and I couldn’t help but reflect on that fact on this beautiful Sunday in May. It seems, this was not the year for me to do this. Part of me is very competitive (with myself) and I could not even imagine forgoing running this race when I made the decision to do it last Dec. I had found a perfect training schedule to follow that fit my schedule very well. I had been following it for months, starting in Jan of this year until I injured my right calf running a 10 mile race in mid Feb. Knowing that this injury would set me back a few weeks at least, I was upset but still determined to go for it and run the marathon. However, it seems that life decided to throw a new twist into my little world.

Since I could not run for about three weeks, I decided I would start a detox cleanse during that time. The fasting went well, but, as it turns out, was the beginning of more cleansing to come. As is indicative of the body detoxifying itself, I have not felt on top of my game or as well as I usually feel since then, so I never did get caught up with the training I needed to do to prepare for the marathon. Over the last few months as I thought about the fact that I was not running and training like I should have been and wanted to, I concluded that my health was more important and discovered that this year, 2012, is my year of deep cleansing on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. I have been fasting, juicing and cleansing my body since that injury occurred in Feb.  I also believe the  injury happened to deter me from running and propel me to cleanse myself instead. I have no regrets. Sometimes life throws curve balls at us. Sometimes, things just do not happen for a good reason. Sometimes, we just need to accept it and not try to change it or control it. Sometimes, we just need to know that the Divine is trying to teach us something different, perhaps something we NEED and not something we THINK we want.

As I have mentioned, I am very competitive with myself, and it took an injury (I couldn’t walk for a week without pain) to get my complete attention. I have learned throughout my full life that the unexpected can be a blessing in disguise, that life is meant to be lived and experienced; and, there are some events or circumstances we must embrace;  the difficult experiences do teach us, if we are open to experiencing them fully.  I believe my time to run my first 26.2 miles is coming in the future. Right now, I cannot say when, but I know, for now, I am listening to the still, small voice that tells me healing is what this time in my life is about, not running.

It is said when one runs a marathon, every last bit of energy, strength, focus, power and determination is used, especially during the last six miles. I am a runner. I have ran many races – the farthest distance being a half marathon, 13.1 miles.  But today, I am embracing a new, more important race, a different and more satisfying “marathon.”

So be it.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso