Updated: Oct 27, 2020
I feel the cool air of the morning, as I step outside.
It greets me like a comfortable friend as my pace quickens from long slow strides to a quicker syncopated rhythm.
Slower at first, then a little faster, I find my pace and move forward into the day.
My breath is a little quicker, along with my feet.
I feel the breeze, take a slow deep breath through my nose and out through my mouth.
I continue to move forward and greet the solid ground beneath me.
I feel my heartbeat move faster but at a rate that makes me feel alive, not tired.
My feet and pulse move quicker together to match each beat, as if they are in their own race.
But I am not racing myself. I am finding myself. Letting things go. Freeing my mind. Facing frustrations or thinking through the solution. Allowing my mind to wander, or getting lost in a song, or finally having a moment to focus what I have most recently been struggling with to think through.
As the increased oxygen fills my brain, I can think clearer. I feel calmer and happier, even with the increased heart rate. I feel a slight rush of adrenaline to keep moving forward.
Running is freedom at my feet. Feeding my brain, allowing more open thoughts, giving space to my body when sometimes I feel so closed in by everything else going on in my world.
Running is a gift to me.
These words above came to me recently while I was enjoying a morning run. How strange it is to find myself writing this when I was never truly a runner in my younger days. In fact, if I am being honest, I dreaded running. I avoided it as much as I could. I was more of a leisurely walker.
Even now, I am not a long-distance runner but yet just a little discovery that I have made for myself as I have grown up and gotten older (yikes!). As with many other aspects of my life, when I was younger, I didn’t allow myself to appreciate what I liked and what I didn’t. I was always a little too hesitant to try something new.
A few years ago, I had quite a serious ankle break and was told that I would not be able to run again. I was heart-broken since this was just around the time when I was finding my perfect pace with running. I made a commitment to myself that I would run again and I achieved it. It took some time but I did it. Again, a gift to myself. Proof that when you put your mind, and sometimes feet, to something, you can do anything.
I’m not the fastest. My recovered ankle hurts when I push too hard and shin splints have found their way to my legs. But I’m ok with that. I take care of the pain and discomfort because I know the joy and freedom that comes with running.
I actually crave getting out and running. Sometimes to relieve stress and sometimes just to be with myself and my thoughts. I notice a difference it my mood if I am not running enough.
As I write this, I have just returned from a jog on a very cool, misty, rainy morning. I think those are my favorite times for a run. It is strangely quiet, so I am able to really focus on my movement. It’s almost a trance or type of meditation when I am finally able to find that perfect pace.
A movement for the body, mind and soul.
Whether it is running or some other type of exercise or hobby, if you haven’t explored this bridge to contentment, I hope this inspires you to do so. It will certainly be a wonderful gift to yourself.
Until next time -