Thursday, June 21, 2007

Solstice

Oh no. The days are getting shorter! Run away! Run for your lives! Break out the headlamps and the torches of all manner and size, for the darkness descends upon us!

Oh how I love sarcasm.

On this most curious ancient day of celebration, the Summer Solstice, I try to remind myself how primitive we truly are, and marvel at our place in the universe. Yoda might say, "So small we are." On today's 2-hour training run, I tried my best to find my breath, be a bit more aware of my surroundings, and live in wide-eyed wonder as this little ball of rock that we call home rotates around the golden burning mother ship that lights our way. Sorry if that's a bit "out there" for you, but it's just how I try to make sense of my existence and place in the universe.

As for the physical responses of this run (and most all of my recent workouts), I'm feeling great. My weight is holding steady as I force myself to bump up my caloric intake. My legs are responding even to occasional surges that I throw into the middle of long runs. And I'm feeling strong, despite the high mileage.

Sauna sessions continue, including a 29-minute scorcher tonight in the 170 degree box. I noticed that it took almost 5 minutes for visible perspiration to form on my arms--a good sign that perhaps my body is starting to enjoy the heat more.

For those interested, here's a bit more on the Summer Solstice and related celebrations: "The celebration of Midsummer's Eve was from ancient times linked to the summer solstice. People believed that mid-summer plants had miraculous and healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other evil powers.

In Sweden Mid-summer celebration originates from the time before Christianity; it was celebrated as a sacrifice time in the sign of the fertility.

The solstice itself has remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since Neolithic times. The concentration of the observance is not on the day as we reckon it, commencing at midnight or at dawn, but the pre-Christian beginning of the day, which falls on the previous eve. In Sweden, Finland and Estonia, Midsummer's Eve is considered the greatest festival of the year, comparable only with Walpurgis Night, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve."

Happy Solstice to you. May the warm season bring you joy, health, and prosperity.

2 comments:

Adam said...

A sauna? Jeez, just come visit for a week, we don't need no stinkin sauna down here in Texas!

All this talk of training. I think I'll go have a couple margaritas and a cigarette....

olga said...

Good luck loving the heat, man. I'll ask the deatils one day - but for now I'll stay away:)