Mezamashii: Japanese for brilliant or eye-opening.
Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always had a fascination with foreign languages. I took 14 years of Spanish and can honestly say that some things I understand better in another language. There’s just something more romantic about understanding the same word in a different form – it’s more raw, more beautiful, more mysterious. Fun fact: the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” I learned in Spanish first and never knew that it was even a real song in English too. Until I had Wes – which, if you do the math, means that I was 28 years in the making before I understood that song could be sung in English. When I told Nate that he was speechless. And you may be too 🙂
If you’ve read this blog for a while (or even just skimmed through parts of it), you know that my body has had a love-hate relationship with running for some time. When I was in college I logged about 50 miles a week running, but since I just dove head first into it and didn’t care for my body well I completely ended up hurting my knees in the process. Time and time again I’ve resorted to “never being able to run again” and then tried a few months later to edge my way back into it, only to push too hard and get sidelined again. And again. And again.
I’m recapping all of this for you guys so that you understand why I was a little surprised (and blessed) to have been chosen through FitFluential to take part in Mizuno’s Mezamashii Run Project. Through this project I received a free pair of shiny new Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes (heLLO bright yellow!) to run in to achieve a “BRILLIANT RUN.” I was surprised because I really didn’t think that I deserved a new pair of shoes since my running life has been so lackluster and frustrating. I didn’t need a pair since I had resorted to never being able to run again (again). I didn’t know that a brilliant run could ever be achieved in my life.
And then I put them on. Now let me say this – the shoes are amazing. They’re light, they’re comfortable, they’re super shiny blinging yellow, and I love them. On the physical side of comfort while running I definitely attribute my new-found love to the way these shoes perform. I ran 3 miles without any pain (unless you count my lungs – ouch). But when I put them on and decided, “what the heck, I’ll just try to run again” I found part of the brilliant run that I’ve been missing: the emotional and spiritual side.
When I was logging tons of miles in college I wasn’t in the right frame of mind (i.e. poor body image) to really appreciate running for the emotional aspect of it. I did it just to do it, without realizing how much I would miss it if I couldn’t do it anymore. Now that I’ve been on both sides of the equation I appreciate – I am THANKFUL FOR – the way running makes me feel. The way it loosens up my body and spirit. The way I feel strong and comfortable, and the way that it humbles me. The way that it helps me center my thoughts, and the pure unadulterated gratitude that I have for the ability to move the way I do.
Turns out that running isn’t just the body’s capability, it’s the mind’s way of working through it as well. And that, my friends, is how you achieve a mezamashii – a brilliant – run. It’s not about the endorphins and the distance and the speed and the PR’s and the races and the medals. It’s about the strength of body and spirit that come together to catapult your run to brilliance.
On that note, I am still working through what it looks like for me to run again. I don’t believe that I will ever be able to log the mileage that I did in college, nor do I want to. I’ve been running absolutely no more than 3 times a week and the longest distance I’ve done is 3 miles, and I’m 100% OK with that. Because now I have what my body had but my heart always craved with running: strength of mind, peace, and gratitude for every run. That is much more important than any physical improvement I could ever have.
Mezamashii: brilliant. Eye-opening. Check and check.