I was Dreading cardio tonight. That’s right. I pulled out a capital D. I wanted so badly to go to a pub and have nachos and alcoholic beverages to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. But, alas, that was not meant to be.
I grudgingly slipped on my magical running shoes, said goodbye to the pups (who pull me over when we try to run and, thus, must stay home) and walked outside. Holy moly, was it gorgeous out there. I’d been stuck inside my cube all day and had no idea how absolutely perfect it was.
With the slightly cool breeze renewing my energy, I set off on slow run. I didn’t bring a watch because I realized that watching the clock is not productive for me. Instead, I set goals to hit various landmarks and did my best to surpass them each time. It worked like a charm! I ran farther than I’ve ever run before and I wasn’t obsessed with glancing down at my wrist to see how much time was left.
By gazing out instead of down, I was able to really enjoy the whole expeience. I saw three mallard ducks take flight from a pond, a sweet puppy watching me as I ran by, and the stark beauty of bare branches against a stormy sky. Simple things, but such nice additions to the day when you stop to appreciate them.
Running solo is the best thing I’ve done in a long time. I used to really enjoy spending time with myself. I’d journal, keep a record of quotes that inspired me, dream and plan. I really knew my own thoughts and values, and I had a stronger faith as a result of that introspection and calm. But lately, I always seem to have the TV on, while simultaneously flipping through a magazine and playing around on my iPhone. So much noise, so little meaning. Tonight’s run gave me a much-needed opportunity to just breathe, dream, hope, pray (particularly for the people of Japan, who are living a nightmare I can’t even imagine) and enjoy.
Watching my neighbors out and about, and the ducks and squirrels and clouds and trees, I realized how much I’ve missed out on by living such a sedentary lifestyle, and that made me sad.
But then I remembered how much more I WOULD have missed if not for this Fittest Loser contest and the new outlook it’s given me. Right then and there, I resolved to truly live by one of those inspirational quotes I wrote in my journal so many years ago: “May you live all the days of your life.” ~Jonathan Swift
And THAT made me smile.