Harmony saved my running. It can save your life
- Video Caption: 1 Diplo’s 2019 VMAs, Themed Suit
“Sweet victory and deep fulfillment only flow along the riverbed of inner harmony.” Bwak
Harmony can save your career. It can save your business. It can even save your life.
Harmony. Before today, I didn’t have a full appreciation of harmony. I knew that it was a musical state signifying a smooth flow of notes. I also knew that it could be used to signify a lack of internal or external conflict.
But there is much more to harmony than this. Much more.
“As long as you take care of the system; the process; the results will take care of themselves.” I told Caroline, one of my closest friends.
She is a burgeoning Rwandan writer currently pursuing her Masters at New York University. But more than that, she is simply a beautiful human being whose life is fueled by boundless passion.
Is there harmony within you at this moment?
We were having a 2.30 AM call. About thirty minutes earlier, I had felt an urge to call her.
But the call might take long and I need to go for my run at 4. I had thought and attempted to postpone the call. But I felt a strong urge to call her, so at exactly 2.37AM, I strolled into WhatsApp and called her.
I knew Carol back in 2013 when she wrote her first article for Eco-Forum Journal where I was serving as Chief Editor. Our professional relationship blossomed into a beautiful friendship that has always been driven by an underlying harmony. We have a shared passion for Africa and for writing.
Back to this word – harmony. In music, harmony ensues when two or more notes are played together in seamless, complementary fashion. Harmony cannot ensue from discordant notes that don’t belong together. I was about to discover how harmony can powerfully fuel not just running but also life.
These harmony thoughts trickled into my mind as my worn out Nike sneakers slammed into the tarmac that meanders through our estate. It was the first kilometer of my 12 kilometer run.
Breathe in fast and out slowly. A quick inhale and a lengthier exhale. I told myself as I ran. Any serious runner will tell you that this is the breath pattern you should adopt while running. I often ignore it as it’s seemingly easier to simply breathe normally. Actually, it’s just lazier to do so, not easier. If you want to enjoy your runs more and become increasingly better, you must internalize short inhales and longer exhales while running. For elite runners like the GOAT Eliud Kipchoge or even serious amateur runners, such breathing has become second nature.
When is the last time you went for a run?
And in conclusion...
Such breathing gives you inner harmony that extends into your running strides. These words trickled into my mind as I ran on, at a faster pace than usual.
Today, I will breathe right. Short exhales – 1,2 – longer exhales – 1,2,3,4,5. I told myself and literally counted this way to get the hang of it.
Because my focus was on internal breathing harmony, I let go of my mini-goals that usually unfolded this way: run up to that streetlight post (or whatever landmark in sight) over there at this pace; run for the entire kilometer without slowing my pace; run at a very fast pace for a hundred meters then slow down.
On this particular morning, I wasn’t focusing on such mini goals at all since all my focus was on inner harmony, fueled by proper running breathing – short inhales followed by long exhales.
This approach worked wonders. I ended up running just over 11.5 kilometers in my fastest speed in almost one year – 7.02 minutes per kilometer. It’s a speed that is still quite slow compared to my previous speeds, but as I keep telling you in my defense, it’s because I run irregularly and when I do run, I take too many breaks while running.
But I will get there and so will you – if you start focusing on inner running harmony occasioned by proper running breathing – short inhales, long exhales. You can tap into this inner harmony in other areas of your life. If you are fighting too much in your relationship, focus on rediscovering and nurturing the relationship’s harmony; if you are struggling in your career, focus on reigniting the inner harmony that fuels that career.
Let’s go run! Let’s do this. Let’s run for a better health and a better world.
Do whatever it takes to protect your inner peace. It is the foundation of inner harmony.