My Morning Run
First Light Flight
It was still dark out. Rain smeared the bedroom window and poured off the building into icy puddles below. Standing in front of the drafty window, my hand against the glass, I feel a trace of cold air. In the darkness, I glance at the bright blue numbers on my alarm clock…
At five o’clock in the morning, there seems to be an unspoken rule that forces many individuals to stay glued to their beds. I am the exception to this rule. It is another day and, once again, I will run. For an hour at I time, I will feel confident, powerful, and unrestrained. I get to experience those thoughts and feelings all over again that make running worth my time.
I step outside feeling the cool morning breeze. I breathe in deeply, and the clean air calms me. There is this overwhelming feeling of contentment. Something about being outside this early in the morning makes me feel more alive than ever. Even now, hours later, the scent of last night’s rain is overpowering. There is no sound: only nature. There are no car-filled roads with people rushing about. The sounds of traffic that I have become accustomed to are now nonexistent. I take all of this in, and I know it is just me and the road.
I lift my tired legs, begin jogging at a slow pace, and observe my surroundings. I admire the running trail, the tall trees, and the way that the natural layout of the landscape makes running just enough of a challenge. I quicken my pace, and I settle into that state, that so-called “runner’s high,” but that name fails to capture it’s brilliance. There wasn’t a single instant when I didn’t feel full of life. My mind is open, and I am experiencing feelings that I can only feel for a few hours at a time every day. There was no fear, no nervousness. There were no unwanted thoughts. Just the sound of my breathing and my feet hitting the pavement. I feel confidence and strength. I have somewhere to go when I am alone, and somewhere I can go when I want to be alone.
Soon my run will be over, and I will have to wait too long for my time to feel alive again. As I sprint on the last stretch of road, I see the sun come up, and feel it‘s warmth. It marks the end of my run, but the beginning of my day. The rising sun tells me it is a new day. My run has cleared my mind, and the new day will welcome new thoughts.
I discovered early on that it wasn’t the sport that attracted me, but the act of running. It was the pounding of my own heart, in the rhythm of my own breathing that the answers begin to come. The answers came if, and only if, I kept running.