In a time where solitude was once sought, it seems that’s all we have. We are told that we are to stay in or near our homes, 6ft away from another person who isn’t in your household, and most of the country is shut down. In this space, I am fortunate that the hobby/sport/livelihood I have is running. It is one of the more normal things we can try to maintain.
Within this stay home order I am seeing more and more people outside than normally would be at this time of year. It can be frustrating seeing people who are in “your” space. Even though I run outside on public paths and roads, I still feel slightly territorial. I understand why these other people are out. They are now working from home, have kids home from school, and need the fresh air and the outlet. Still. It is silly on my part to think that I can own a part of the outside. I needed to recenter.
I decided yesterday after a hard fast run that I was going to go back to where it began. So, this morning I drove out to where I used to live, where I learned I loved to run. I picked a route that I knew by heart and headed out on one of my favorite 15 mile routes. I cannot explain how much joy I had. It was misty and all the miles I had run on these country roads came flooding back to me like slideshow. The miles in the sun and rain, the feelings I had as I passed certain landmarks, the every changing landscape. So many birds of all kinds were out. I didn’t see a single person. I wrote the directions on my hand like I used to before I had a GPS watch(not that I needed them, my feet knew the way). Those miles were effortless, as if I was floating.
At many points, and even now as I am thinking back on it, I am crying. These tears are so full of true happiness. They are also full of grief and longing. I miss those roads, they made me fall in love. I haven’t run on those roads in at least 3 years, when I was a different person in a different place.
It’s not uncommon to be all alone on those runs, so today didn’t seem that out of place. It was normal, those roads were all mine. i didn’t realize how much I needed that, until I was out there. Honestly, I don’t think I was ready until now either.
All I can say. If you are feeling like you need a reset and you can get to a road/trail (where you can be 6ft away from another human) that fills you with joy. Don’t hesitate.