I went to the beach with my family last Wednesday thru Sunday – to Nags Head, North Carolina. A quiet, beautiful part of the world. Especially this time of the year.
I didn’t run the first morning, just too tired. And it was really windy – the weather report used the word gusty – and cold. The day flew by and ended in a blink and I didn’t feel present. I felt like I was still in transit, not at home, but not really at the beach yet.
The next morning was a little warmer, but still windy and a little chilly, but I got up and ran.
With the strike of my foot against the ground it was as though I was instantly planted into the present. Here I am! It’s morning and I’m a part of it. I’m at the beach – my location is settled. I’m alive and living. Fresh, salty air enters my lungs and my heart beats and sends Oxygen to every part of me. I feel awake and grateful to see and be a part of the morning, the day, my life.
Charles Bukowski has a book titled The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills and is a phrase we use frequently at our house. We have young kids and I’m nearly 40 and time, it seems, has gone into hyperdrive. A quote from Bukowski’s book of poems is “My part of the game is that I must live the best I can.” Running has become essential for me to do just that.
For me, running has become a way to be ushered into the present moment. And while time normally thunders past me like a pack of horses, time seems to slow to a crawl while I’m running. I’m free to think, to dream, to be inspired, to remember to be grateful and to center myself. I finish the run and am part of the day and my life. So even though we arrived at the beach on Wednesday, it feels like vacation didn’t start until I became planted in the present, after my run on Thursday morning.