Apologies and a Realization

I did not realize until I was logging in EXACTLY how long it’s been since I posted! Please forgive my tardiness and understand that life has taken on its very own rhythm in the last 2 months!

I obtained a FULL-TIME teaching position in August and it’s been a ride for the ages. I love it! It’s difficult at times and everyday it is, at least, mildly entertaining. Life has changed drastically since school began and I am only now, at the beginning of the 10th week, able to hold my head above water and do anything FUN on the weekends. There’s my apology and a promise to get back to writing because, as usual, there is so much to say and so much going on inside this busy, busy brain of mine!

Now for the realization!! It was an “ah-hah” moment that took place while out in the woods today playing, aka running, in the slight drizzle falling from the sky for the third day in a row. This rain made the trail come alive again after being beaten down all summer with the pounding feet and speedy wheels of anxious runners and insane cyclists alike. The rain really isn’t the point rather a small detail as the story goes.

We were somewhere around the halfway mark of today’s run and the subject of why running in the muck and wetness of the trail is so doggone enjoyable….I’d been running in the rear of the pack since I am considerably slower than those who were my partners today. I was enjoying the utter silence of the woods….no birds chirping, no deer snorting…not even the occasional frog informing us we were disrupting their home. It was just the sound of my feet striking the ground and the ever present breathing in and out….in and out to the rhythm that my body is most comfortable with. My watch had died and I had left my headphones in my bag so there wasn’t even the usual distraction of music in my ears to deaden my awareness…..

BAM! Out of the blue as I was speeding around a downhill stretch of the switchbacks, feeling my legs respond to my command for more speed….it hit me!! Not a tree branch though that would probably make you all laugh hysterically!! No, something more profound in my little mind. It was the realization of WHY running in the stickiness and wet of the trail strikes the fancy of so many of us wandering souls. It’s primal…This feeling of the wind in your face, rain soaking your clothes as the heat you’re creating pumps off your body into the crisp fall air.

There’s no box out there in which one must stuff themselves into. No expectations of a particular set of norms…..Fast or slow, walking or jogging…short, tall…thin or not so much. When we are out there with our hearts pumping blood as fast as it can, in an effort to supply the much needed oxygen to all the extremities..The only thing that matters is that moment in time. That you are able for one more minute to put one foot in front of the other and propel your body forward….and to do so continuously until you decide to stop or God decides that your time has come. Out there, whether it’s single track or a jeep road that I am running on, there’s just ME. There’s nobody to impress. No one who cares what clothes I may be wearing or how dirty my shoes are…no makeup concealing the fine lines that seem to have appeared overnight. It’s just me and God above in a sanctuary of trees and dirt! I don’t have to fit into any box…..

Unfortunately, here’s where the figurative “box” comes into play in the world in which I live. The way I see it seems pretty simple! I even worked it out in numbers for all of you mathematical types. There are 24 hours in a day. Of those valuable hours, sleep and work take up the vast majority leaving somewhere around 4 hours per weekday for a total of 20 hours and 16 total (awake and not working) hours on the weekend in which to accomplish anything other than what MUST be done.

My thought is simply this, in order for me to be my most creative, most productive and HAPPY person, I should be able to run for an hour on 3 weekdays. (This is only 1/4th of my daily awake and non-working/sleeping hours!) Then, on the weekend when there are MORE consecutive hours when I have no work commitments to fulfill, I can run for up to 4 hours on either Saturday or Sunday (keeping the 1/4th fraction alive and well!) I don’t think that’s too much to ask!

How many hours does the average person spend sitting on their duffs watching television every single day? How about all of you armchair quarterbacks who spend the better part of a Saturday/Sunday or both, watching your favorite team(s) run up and down a football field? At least running provides clarity, peace and some health benefits…can you say that watching television lowers your cholesterol or your resting heart rate to superbly healthy levels? I hear people say that those of us who run are just “crazy”. I say….well…that’s a topic for another discuss I suppose since I MUST finish typing my lessons for the week!

Peace and Blessings my friends…

Until next time!

~TLT