Run. Breathe. Listen.
Peace fills the air and my mind as I venture out on my morning run. Today I run for me. Time with my own thoughts and aspirations. Stepping one foot in front of the other, for about two miles on the island with a last name. Just running and listening to the sound of my own breath. I soon come to the first of many running groups out early this morning.
A larger group, about 16 people, although we hold bigger ones here on Saturdays. I notice the group slipping into what we later called A & B group. The fast pass and well. Passing through the first section I find I fit nicely into pace with the first cluster. Not because I’m super fast or anything, it’s just my pass today.
“Good morning, how are you? Your welcome to join us if you would like.” “Sure” I find myself saying, so I tag along. After a brief round of introductions, I settle into the guest runner position. Focusing mostly on running, breathing and listening. It’s interesting to be the outsider looking in sometimes. Without “missing a step” everyone seems to have there roles continue. The mile and time clock pace watcher’s, the heart felt encourager’s, the non-stop story teller’s and the listener’s. Free entertainment for the next five miles while I watched the roles of so many social and/or work groups take place. Story’s of their children and their children’s school – the who’s who of retiring and why, marathon training- which cities, what months, emergency bathroom break nightmares etc. It was a welcomed break listening into other people’s lives. Something I get to do often as a hairstylist. With so many stories just as fascinating as the next.
We hit the backside of the island, a point in which I wasn’t planning on running today. Today was just a leisure maintenance run. Clarity in my head, blood pumping throughout my body. We paused for the B section to catch up while we determined who would be doing the extra three mile loop. As it turned out, everyone was going for it today. Except for me. “Why aren’t you doing the loop, I thought you were a long distance runner?” “I am, I’m just not training for anything right now and I’m content with 4 to10 miles”. The mothering nurturer of the group says “Wow, you sound like a girl I used to know, that’s good.” The over talker speaks up saying “She must not have anything bad going on in her life right now. Whenever I hear someone saying they are running two or three marathons in one year, I feel like I should say “I’m so sorry your life is so crazy stressful right now!”
“Ha, well my life is on the calmer end right for this minute.”
I wouldn’t say I only run long when it’s stressful. Although looking back some of my toughest training has been while facing my my most difficult challenges. Running through the pain, chasing down my fears till I can take my first breath of air on the other side.
Truth is, not many things are certain in life. You may even reach the other side and find it’s not what you were expecting at all. Then make adjustments accordingly to find the ending that works best for you. I do know one thing I can count on is my faith in God. Always being there with me. Along with the peace and clarity I get from a run. Comfort every step of the way, each and every mile.
So there I was with the whole gang headed to the right while I veered to the left. On my own, the way I started this run. Just me, my thoughts and aspirations. I couldn’t help but think how I really wasn’t alone. I was still running, breathing and listening, but now I was trying to focus solely on listening. God has been with me the whole time, as he is for all of us.