Running and Drumming as Meditation
Until you've tried it, meditation can seem a little out there. I had never given it much thought before I was editing for the Learning Leader podcast and heard several of the show's guests talk about the benefits of meditation, so I started to give it a shot a few months ago.
Since then, I've included meditation in my morning routine which I make an effort to stick to at least 5 days a week - optimistically - and it definitely does help my mindset as I start my day. Simply taking a few minutes to literally sit down and do nothing but breathe and attempt to clear my mind helps me by not starting my day in a rush, but it also gets me more in tune with what's going on with my body. Is anything sore? Do I need to stretch anything a little extra today? Does my breathing feel normal? Things that I may gloss over if I fly out of bed to immediately start my day, I can take stock of and address from the outset.
As I thought about meditating and the state of mind I aim for, I compared it to the sweet spot in a great workout. My body gets so synced up between my breathing and my steps and after a few miles, my mind shuts off. It took me longer to realize that the same thing happens when I'm playing drums. The difference is that it happens almost immediately when I'm drumming and I don't remember ever even thinking about my breathing.
Realizing this has altered my approach a bit to running, drumming, and meditating as the connection forms more strongly between the three activities. The realization has also shed more light on why it's so therapeutic for me to do those things. Bad day? Better go for a run. Frustrated with a project? Better drum for a while. It only took me six plus years of both running and drumming to make the meditative connection.
This is another one of those great intersections of running and drumming that get me so amped about being able to write this blog. Running is rhythmic and drumming is physical. Since adding that tagline to my blog page, I've learned how true that is in several dimensions.