If you think running is just another way to burn calories, then you’ve either never really tried it or just never really understood it.
The act of running teaches you that pain is temporary but victory is infinite and that all those limitations you’ve placed on yourself were WRONG. It makes you one of the privileged few who gets to witness and ENJOY sunrises and sunsets regularly; it makes you cognizant of your surroundings and appreciative of nature. It helps you create friendships and strengthens the ones you already have. It simultaneously winds up your battery AND burns off a little bit of the crazy lurking inside of you. It takes you places you never thought you could go, both physically and emotionally.
If you don’t believe that humans can FLY, then you’ve never really run.
I am admittedly spoiled. I live in South Florida where people from other parts of the country come to vacation and aspire to retire. What could be better motivation to wake up at 5:30am every Saturday than a view of the ocean as the sun is rising? Believe me, it makes it worth every minute out of bed. Actually, early morning runs have not only privileged me to gorgeous sunrises but to some wildlife spottings that could rival a National Geographic film reel.
At one point, I was having so many cool sightings that my updates became an eagerly awaited topic of morning conversation between myself, my boyfriend and his daughters. Between red foxes and giant snapping turtles crossing the street, hawks chasing squirrels and dinosaur-sized iguanas sunbathing, it was getting pretty kooky! But, even the things that aren’t so kooky get me excited to be on my ocean-side Saturday morning route or even my weeknight route. A bright red cardinal sitting on a telephone wire, circular Sea Grape leaves rolling like wheels on short golf grass, boats tied up in their docks bobbing in the water and a handsome (and very fast) man waiting for me by the car with a cold bottle of water… that’s the good stuff.
I wonder, however, how many people actually take the time to notice these small things or even get pleasure from witnessing them.
I once had a co-worker at the hospital I previously worked at who would teach his patients about “mindfulness.” “Mindfulness” is the ability to be truly present and to find pleasure in the HERE AND NOW. It was a difficult concept for many of his patients to master, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t able to be truly mindful at that time in my life either. I mean, it’s not easy to get out of the madness in your own head! With some time, growth and self-reflection, however, I’ve come to realize that although getting giddy about seeing a red cardinal on a telephone wire is pretty nuts, it’s just me being mindful of the awesomeness in the details of life. And those details bring me joy.
Sea grape leaves (my favorite)
* Where are your favorite routes?
* When is your favorite time to run?
* What amazing things have you been witness to on your runs?
* Are you mastering being “mindful”?
* What small details in life give you joy? Please share your stories and pictures!