Today I had a great run. It was a perfect fall day, cool, sunny, yellow leaves in the forest, the smell of rotting vegetation. I had new shoes, a very green jacket, my tights and an orange head band. No chance I would be mistaken for a moose. The ground was soggy with water. It has been raining so much that some places there were big puddles I had to navigate over. I did not succeed in staying dry. Not at all. I was soaked by the end of the run.
I just finished a great book. It is called Born to Run. It sounds boring, especially if you are not a runner. But I really loved the book and the way it described the joy of running. You should read it if you are remotely interested.
Of the many things I learned from the book was that running is supposed to be enjoyable. Yeah, I know. Enjoyable. One of the things my sister once told me when I was going for a run and she was happy sitting inside reading her book was: I have yet to see a runner who smiles while running. That stuck with me.
So, back to the book. Chris Mc Dougall thinks we were all born to run. And after reading the book, you will too. And then it is the part about enjoying it.
The last couple of days I have gone for long runs. I decided to follow Mr. McDougall’s advice so I ran slow, took short steps, smiled, and when I started feeling like it was hard work, I slowed down. I even decided to drop the iPod because getting the right kind of music always stresses me out. I decided to just listen to nature and the silence around me.
It has been the best two runs of the year. Honestly.
So I thought about life, in the quiet of the forest, as I was skipping over and through puddles. Life is like a run. We can choose to run it the way we want. We can rush through it, time ourselves, cuss through the intervals, get feet and knee injuries, run out of good playlists, compare ourselves to the others, compete with the best and lose. Or we can decide that we run for the sake of the run. We enjoy the moment, we slow down, we breathe deeply, we listen to the music around us. And we end the race refreshed and ready to start over again the next day.
Tomorrow I will find a new place to run and I am looking forward to it. I am starting to think I was Born to run.