We runners all have one. That RUN. The run that is always with us.
It is the run that we can trust ourselves to. It is the run that is waiting to get us back on track after an injury or absence for quite some time. It is where we go in the cool of the early morning, in the heat of a summer day, in the fading light of a setting sun. It is where we go to find peace, to seek challenges. It is where we go when we need to push, to hold back. It is a place we go to in all seasons, observing and feeling the changes, until the rhythm of the earth becomes our own, a comforting reminder of the impermanence of all things.
I step outside. Lock the door behind me. Legs feel heavy. I have that morning time post sleep tiredness, despite the amount of coffee. I start slowly. The legs, the body take their time to ease into movement. But even with the first step I am shaken into a stillness. The noise of our every single day emotions – the fears, the doubts, the hopes, the joy – is now held in suspension. There is a quiet within my movement. I think. But my thoughts are not my master. I park them for now because for the moment I am simply running. Identity and purpose are now irrelevant. To be running is enough. When I am running, I feel alive. And to be alive is everything.
Today I run alone. Often times with The Crazy Ones. My good friends. This run was once new enough that I would frequently lose myself, but with repetition I learned to know these paths and trails along the Rhein river, until I could easily run them, without need for any kind of effort. Until I would lose myself again, in a different sense, immersed simply in the genuine effort of the run. I already know how it will feel beneath my feet, I already know where there will be mud even on the hottest day, I already know which rocks I will jump over.
There is a beautiful constant between the quiet and freedom of the hilly woods and the “Hi”, “Hallo” from the other runners on the streets of a city. Düsseldorf is a city of riches, a city of poverty, a city of contrasts and contradictions, but a city where life has a beauty of its own, played out in front of you on the street with a smile.
It reminds me of my own insignificance and yet at the same time of the fundamental necessity of my existence.
It is that run. It is the run that brings me back home where I can always find a fragile peace.
Stay healthy and be