Thursday, February 15, 2007

Running, Anyways

I spent the last weekend at my mom's house near where I grew up. When we visit, I usually bring at least my running shoes, and often my bicycle as well. She lives on the edge of the Rogue River Valley in Oregon and there are many beautiful places to bike and run around there.

So on Saturday, when I laced up my runnning shoes to go out, I was really looking forward to a nice medium-long run through the hills near her house. Although the weather had been beautiful all morning, some storm clouds moved in and a few sprinkles of rain had started falling. My mom asked me if I still planned on running, and I said of course. I live in the Pacific Northwest and if I didn't run when it was raining, I might not leave the house for months.

During the run, the rain came and went, sometimes lightly, and then one quick downpour. Eventually it went back to sprinkling and then disappeared entirely. A rainbow appeared over the oak trees on the hill, so dazzling that I stopped to take a picture. I ran by some goats who bleated and came to the fence to greet me, so I had to take another brief stop to pat their wooly heads and feed them some grass. The air warmed up and that feeling overcame me that happens on the best of runs. The French have the best phrase for it: Joie de vivre, joy of life. The feeling that all of life is flowing through you and it's all good.

I think that there's a fundamental change that happens when running (or bicycling or swimming or canoeing or skiing or whatever your sport of passion happens to be) becomes an integral part of your life. It's no longer something that you look for an excuse not to do, it's something you seek out and want to do. It's something you're disappointed if you don't get to do. There have been spates of bad weather where I didn't run. I won't run if it's icy and dangerous, and I did take myself to the indoor track at our gym one day to run dismal laps (sixteen of them makes a mile, so you can imagine how monotonous that gets) but even then I ran anyways. I ran because I always feel worse if I don't, because even when it's hard to get going, it always feels better to have finished. So yes mom, I'm going to run in the rain. See you somewhere over the rainbow.


Ginger Breadman said...

I like your introspective thoughts - you have an amazing perspective on life and what it gives to you.

Diane said...

You go girl! Can't wait to get to that point where running is an integral part of my life... think I'm close.