Thursday, November 18, 2010

The recurring running dream

Ever since I could no longer run, I've had a recurring running dream. I don't have it often, but when I do have it, the dream is pretty much the same. It's very odd but very real, and I think I always remember it the next day.

It starts with me driving alone to a race, and I'm late for the race. I arrive at the race and everyone has already started. In fact, I'm so late that no one is really anywhere.

Somehow I start the race (in the dream, I skip starting and go to the middle of the race). Many of the markers telling me where to go have been picked up, and the fans are long gone. I'm on a golf course or going through a city - the location changes. But mid-race I always am lost, not knowing whether to turn right or left - not knowing where to go. And so I ask someone and they guess and the guess is usually wrong.

Somehow I also finish the race (although the actual finish is not part of the dream). Then I am with someone, looking at my time, using my time to see what place I got. And video cameras look to see whether I made it through all the checkpoints.

Then the dream ends. I wake up. I don't know how I did. I didn't see anyone I know. Somehow I completed the race although the start and end aren't a part of it.

Dreams seem, mostly, pretty meaningless, or I can map a dream back to something that happened that day, and concepts of a dream are interweaved.

So, in my dreams, I still run and it's effortless.

I'll probably never figure out the connection of this dream (like I do the others) of things that have happened that day which made the dream occur again.

But now - I have my own races (see previous post). There's somewhat of a start and end. In a sense I get lost because I don't know how far I will go that day, and whether I'll consider it "good enough" for me to win. I'm alone; sometimes I time myself. Then I show others my time. Of course, there's no one to compare it to.

But perhaps a part of the dream is that - comparisons maybe aren't what's important. Perhaps the start and finish aren't important. Perhaps the fact of just doing a race, when everyone is gone and it doesn't really matter except to me - perhaps there is something there.

Or perhaps it's a random dream that I'll continue to have and I'll never know why or what it means, if anything.

But, through this recurring dream, I will continue to run.



Steve Finnell said...

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Rosemary said...

Hi Beth, I found your entry on dreaming very interesting. I once heard a neurologist talking on how some studies lead them to believe that what we dream of is connected to what the body is repairing during that stage 4 of sleep. Maybe that running dream is the reprogramming of the brain to the leg muscle connection that is missing in those of us with MS. There is a web site on the sciences called that talks about the 5 stages of sleep and stage 4 is when the body goes to work on repairing tissues. I was thrilled to hear about your walking at the office. You go girl!! Rosemary
p.s. also Google 'Dream Reentry Technique', some interesting articles to explore.