Saturday was Yom Kippur (which actually started Friday night).
Sunday I ran my first 5k in a few years (with no training beforehand). This is me, wearing my Mollybethalon running shirt from 2013 (when I did not run 4.4miles – or km – whatever it was…because I was with J, and he didn’t want to run, only walk).
It made for an odd weekend.
Friday afternoon, we had a plan for getting dinner eaten at 5 pm, an unheard of early dinner time for our family. We didn’t actually manage to sit down until 5:30, and inhaled our meal of roast chicken, potato kugel and carrot tsimmes (all of we which bought prepared, which definitely helped or stress level). We got to our synagogue at 6pm, 15 minutes before services were scheduled to start. Again, unheard of for us! And we were launched on our journey of stripping away, acknowledging failings, and recommitting to do better in the coming year. My own experience was punctuated by a late morning “Side Trip” session which I led, using chant to focus meditation. The session was surprisingly well-attended, and I got some nice feedback from participants.
As the first notes of Kol Nidre were chanted by our Cantor, I remembered my first experience of Yom Kippur. That first time, the service was held in auditorium of the local high school, and we were seated about as far back as is possible. I had no idea what to expect, and I couldn’t see what was going on up on the stage (now I know that it was probably pay presidents of the synagogue, or people who were being honored, who would have been holding the Torah scrolls while the Cantor sang the kol nidre chant). I don’t recall if we even went to synagogue the following day!
By now, after experiencing more than two decades of Yom Kippur observance, I have a better idea of what the day will be like. And, yet, as our rabbi noted during his remarks that evening, and reiterated throughout the 25 hour fast, we can know what’s going to happen, but our personal experience is a journey that we can’t predict – we just have to experience it.
Saturday evening, we broke our fast at a friends’ home, got home exhausted and collapsed into our beds.
The next morning, my alarm went off, reminding me that I had signed up for a 5k run in support of JCADA, the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse. Had I trained diligently for this run? No. But I went anyway.
And, oh was I sore the next day.
But, I feel inspired for the year ahead, and maybe I’ll even get back into some kind of exercise regimen. That would be good.