I prefer the treadmill. When it comes to running, I like numbers – setting goals that I can measure. But this particular morning, I awoke to a different tune. There was something in the air, a clarity that had been missing for the past few days. The air smelled fresh, clean, inviting. It had been raining for the last 72 hours or so and the storms had left a pleasing mist behind.
I opened the patio door and filled my lungs completely, breathing out gently, savoring the breath. The air was sweet with morning dew and I could see the sun beginning to rise over the hill. ‘It’s going to be a beautiful day,’ I said to myself as I changed into the usual spandex and cotton-t.
I rather enjoy the rain – the pitter-patter sounds on the windows, the fresh, distinct scent. But after several days of nothing but gray skies and wet socks, I find myself getting a little depressed. It’s startling how much the weather can affect a person and happily today it was affecting me in a beautiful and much needed way.
I slipped on my running shoes and set my ipod to coast as I headed out, ready to take on the world. The air was welcoming – fresh with a rejuvenating newness. The temperature was absolutely faultless, perfectly cool. The hill was breathtaking with the colors of dawning light. And I, well I was in heaven.
I took off in a comfortable jog and headed towards the gardens, a superb addition to an already beautiful complex. I could feel the pavement beneath my feet, the slight crunch of asphalt announcing my every stride. The air breezed past my limbs, streamed through my hair tossing blonde strands behind me like streamers. The gardens ahead were stunning in the morning light – dew glistening atop vibrant green leaves, radiant fuchsia petals dancing merrily in the breeze. It was a wonderland of color and light as if I were heading straight into the heart of a prism, surrounded by beauty in its purest form.
My pace quickened as I found my stride, steadily galloping along the winding path, avoiding puddles and the occasional wind-blown branches. The sun was lush upon my face, a lingering tingling sensation beginning to form.
I passed through the lush undergrowth, taking in my surroundings with supreme gratitude, feeling a warm satisfaction grow within me. My heart raced as I headed up the hill, my thighs burning deeply against the sudden incline. The heat began to climb, flushing my cheeks as the blood pulsed, the follicles on my arms rising against the cool air.
It had been some time since I’d run against such an incline and my body had no inhibitions in reminding me of this. My lungs began to burn as my breath exchanged its steady flow for a rapid, more rigorous pace. My legs ached and my core shouted against the walls of my obliques, straining to maintain stride with my pumping arms. I could see the top of the hill ahead, crowning majestically in the foreground of the now visible sun. ‘You can do it,’ I repeated in my head, ‘You can do it.’
I pushed my muscles to their max, willing my limbs to work in tandem, pulling strength from wherever I could muster it. I set my eyes on the goal ahead of me, now almost in reach, and gave one final, great push, every fiber of my being working in perfect harmony. Just as I thought I might lose the only ounce of power I had left, I realized I was already there.
I felt the pavement beneath me smooth over as it leveled into the most beautiful plain I’d ever seen. The racing in my heart began to slow as I headed into the sunshine, warmth surrounding me like a favorite blanket. My muscles began to relax as I slowed to a gentle jog, breathing in the victory, filling my lungs with the sweetest of air. As I rounded the corner and headed for home, I was greeted by the most wonderful breeze, blowing ever so smoothly. It felt as if the breeze were blowing straight through me, reaching every molecule in my body, leaving me with a most serene sense of calm.
I slowed to a walk, allowing my muscles to relax and take in this generous gift. I closed my eyes as a smile spread wide across my face and I thanked God for this moment. I had no expectations as I’d left my apartment this morning, no idea that such an amazing moment was waiting for me to reach out and make it mine. Any trace of ill-mood remaining had been obliterated and was replaced by a superb calm, filled with a bright light radiating a sense of optimism and serenity. I nestled this peace within me as I headed to the shower, eager to wash away these past few days and head into a new week fresh and energized, ready for whatever life had in store.