If there is a decision to be made I have researched it and questioned it. I’ve prayed on it and I’ve run on it. I am a non-conformist. I will form my own opinions and make my own decisions. Not rash and careless and instead my mind is working in over time to reach some peace. I am training for a half-marathon now and I am working towards adding a mile onto my long runs every weekend. I like to run alone when I am stressed, because it is my think bank time. It is the time to talk things through in the fog that has clouded my mind for the week.
At mile five of my long run on Saturday and I got to the side of town I once taught in and I observed the beauty that surrounded the area along the greenway. The roaring sound of the river, the birds chirping with their springtime glee, and the soft light green elegance of the willow trees swaying in the gentle breeze. I was on mile six when a wolfpack of ladies joined the greenway and they were doing an interval walk/run. They hooted and hollered as they passed other wolfpacks of runners going in the opposite direction. I was heading up to pass them and even though they were doing an interval and I was just running we ended up moving very close to a similar pace. I was in deep thought and processing into mile six and they were clouding my mind with their chatterboxes. Mile five had walked me to the door of my thoughts and I had opened up mind and body. I found these chit chatting ladies terribly distracting. I had some thinking to do this time. Right near the hospital there is this steep incline and I was tired of crossing with these ladies… I needed the quiet of the earth. So I knew that if I just booked it up this particular hill that I would leave them behind on my journey and again I be able to hear the train rumbling in the distance and rustle and bustle of a city somewhere seemingly a longer distance away than the train. Once beyond those ladies my mind opened again. The last I noticed the chatterbox ladies was during their cheerful celebration when they made it to the top of the hill and I left them and their distraction there.
Once in the quiet of my mind again I said to myself- Do not behave out of desperation. Do not behave out of character. Instead behave out of necessity. Behave with the strength and the courage that others may not possess and even when they do not understand the lengths you will go to … do NOT falter. Behave as you feel called to do and with that I arose like a shot out of the cannon I shaved nearly two minutes off of my pace in the next two miles. I ran the last mile at a slightly lower pace as my mind began to wander again and I had to shut it down with the reality that I was so close to my weekly training goal for the week. It was a mind cool down from all the work it had been doing.
I went a little too far in my run, but with intention I had stepped my fifth mile into the paths of my old memories only to leave them to the back of me and move towards my finish line. At the end of my nine miles I did not cry. I wanted to cry in my release of thought processes, but I did not. I had a mile and a half to get home. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my body so I walked. I was filled with endurance endorphins that had convinced my body it could do more. My brain however yelled NO and stifled the desire within me to just finish the run at a beautiful number of ten. I ended up walking up to the local coffee shop to meet my husband.
I bumped into friends at the coffee shop in my sweaty vulnerability of my running gear. One of my friends delivered a message of assurance for what had been weighing on my mind during my run and then she said to me, “My friend likes to run. She says it is good for her body, but it’s also healthy for her mind.” My response was, “And what do you think I was doing this morning?” I guess over ten miles into the morning my smart mouth filter dissipates.