Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Road Less Traveled

I'm not a very still person; quiet introspection isn't really my thing. If you ask someone to describe me the chances that they would ever use the words calm, relaxed or peaceful are probably nonexistent. That's why running is so important for me - it's the only time when my world feels still (which is ironic given that it's not a calm activity). My mind feels at peace, and my body gets into a rhythm. Running is my quiet time.

Last weekend I left my house at 5:30 in the morning to meet my friend for a race. There's something peaceful about being out and about so early. I love driving in the dark, windows down, feeling like I have the world all to myself.

This is why I love running early in the morning, and I haven't been able to figure out how to schedule it in regularly since the baby was born. I love the pre-dawn quiet where all I can hear is my footsteps on the pavement and my own breathing. The dim glow of the streetlights is the only interruption to the dark. The air is cooler, the morning is calm, and I am at peace. At that moment the world belongs to me.

I've been asked if I'm scared to run in the dark, and I had a police officer friend warn me about the dangers of it. I'm aware of the risks, and I'm careful. But the reward makes it worth it. Last fall at my work's convention in Marquette, Michigan (one of my favorite places), I went for a very early five mile run on a dimly lit trail. It was so quiet and beautiful. It was one of the best runs I have had in months (which is probably why I'm bringing it up again ten months later).  I felt content listening to the still morning and felt grateful for the calm.
An early run in Marquette
I've always been a morning person, and my favorite memories of last winter when my son was a newborn are sitting in our parlor looking out onto the beautiful downtown buildings with a cup of coffee and a sleeping baby. The world is a different place before the sun comes up, and it's then that I believe anything is possible.

These days running has turned into more of logging miles whenever I can instead of enjoying the pre-dawn quiet. I've logged miles on the treadmill, after meetings and any place I can fit them in. I can't remember the last time I ran early in the morning, and I miss it. I miss that time where the world belongs to me, the possibilities are endless, and life is serene. Ultimately this is why I run, and I need to remember it. I learned from Batman that the night is darkest just before the dawn. It's time to get reacquainted with the pre-dawn quiet. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice! NIghttime/early morning walking/biking in Lansing is one my favorite things to do.