Peace and Clarity

Last fall, I took up running. I need to exercise regularly (and I hate the gym), and I was inspired by all of the amazing athletes at the Olympics.

I was considering swimming or running, but running seemed like it would be easier to stick with, since I would just have to go out my front door instead of dragging myself across town to a pool. On my brother’s advice, I had my feet tested and purchased some specific sneakers to address some earlier problems with my knees and shins. And began running.

The inspiring view when I run

The inspiring view when I run

Then winter came. I didn’t want to run for a variety of reasons:

A. It was too cold here in the Northeast where I live.

B. I run early in the morning, and in the winter it is completely dark.

C. The other neighborhood runners advised me to carry pepper spray, a stick, or a billy club in case I came across a coyote, who are out in my area early in the morning (seriously?).

D. I would rather stay under my cozy duvet for an extra half hour (even with two kids and one husband sharing it) than brave all of the above.

So instead, I exercised with our Wii Fit, which at least helped me burn some calories. But I wasn’t getting my heart rate up as high, and I missed the time to myself in the morning (my kids like to “exercise” with me when I use the Wii).

I missed it so much, that this morning, with the winter waning, the sun rising earlier, and the temperature about 10 degrees warmer, I braved the elements. And it was wonderful.

My mind easily focused on one element at a time. Fresh snow on the ground and clinging to the trees. The absence of cars or chainsaws or snowblowers. The crunch of my sneakers. The wind blowing past my ears. My heart beating. And my mind was completely, utterly, and amazingly clear.

I took a deep breath and smiled. My husband didn’t even have to ask if it was a good run when I got home – he could see it on my face.

Do you think they could see me coming?

Do you think they could see me coming?

What do you do to step back and gain clarity in the craziness of daily life? Please share in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Peace and Clarity

  1. I have the same struggle with darkness and cold, but I try to work around it because I love to go outside. We have coyotes, bears, bobcats, and all manner of critters up on the mountain where I live, but I bring my dogs. They love the run and I feel pretty sure they’ll let me know if something’s hanging around that I should avoid. And most critters will leave the area at the approach of a human and two dogs 🙂 Still… I’m glad spring is next on the agenda 🙂

  2. Love this, Katie! Were you able to write (hopefully) soon after? Plus, I ADORE those shows! Last week I even braved a walk in the -4 degrees F. It was short, but still so stimulating. Who can stress about life when the cold is so penetrating? I wouldn’t worry about coyotes or bobcats, you’re a force to be reckoned with! Still, dogs are fun.

  3. Pingback: Keep on Running, Keep on Running… | A Life Spent Reading

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