Sometimes when the day is hard, or the week is hard, the only way to get past it is to take a good hard run. Running is a form of meditation that allows distance from daily life. Some people like to run with music, or with a partner, distracting themselves from what is going on with their bodies, but for me, it’s a time of silence. Often it’s the only silence I can get in a day, with kids talking, dogs barking and constant televisions going. I am not willing to give that silence up for an iPod or even a human partner.
Running alone gives me time to think, and the physical outlet for stress that I need when I have gotten notice after notice that the jobs I have applied for have been put on hold due to the economy. It is easy to internalize stress like that, but being able to run reminds me that I am strong.
It helps on days like today, when the rains come through and cool it off, that I can run surrounded by natural beauty. Birds provide my soundtrack, sometimes one of sweet melodies from songbirds, other times just the screeching of the hawks. To me, these are preferable to any soundtrack, allowing me to find my own rhythms rather than borrow from someone else.
When my run is over, I take the time to walk a while, to prevent stiffness and ease my way back into the day. This is when I have time to notice the smaller things, like the dragonflies among the reeds and ferns.