October 12, 2012

Question 12: When the feeling’s right I’m gonna run all night

Where (or how, or in what) do you find peace and joy? Where do you teach your children to find these things?

Did you ever run six miles through the woods in crisp, sunny weather while the leaves are changing colors? It’s unbelievable and one of the only things I miss about our town in New Jersey. Trail running is less available here. After I drop off my daughter, I do a 6.5 mile run a few days a week, but only about 2 of those miles are in the woods. The rest is on a paved park path or through neighborhoods. Still, there’s that pounding on my joints, the feel of the road giving way beneath my feet, and the waves of miles falling away behind me.

I don’t listen to music while I run. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to inundate her sensory system with noise at a time when she could be alone, completely alone with her body and mind. If I’m going to listen to music, I want to really listen to music, not do it with the half of me that’s not running. And if I’m going to run, I want to really run, not do it with the half of me that’s not listening to music.

Punctuation soothes me – except for the daily frustration with apostrophe abuse. Music awakens me. Colors and smells engage me. But running takes me deep within the hands of the world.

I used to run with Benjamin, but he grew frustrated with the limitations of his body. We do walk together, though, and walking is a less intense form of the same thing. But I can’t teach my kids to find peace and joy. That’s a lifelong adventure, and one that each person has to take on his own.

Perhaps, like me, they will settle into themselves each night with a book, which is the other place I feel wholly me. Clearly, Zachary already has this little problem. Or maybe it will be building like their father. It could be yoga or cooking or herbal tea or bungee jumping. It’s all about the journey.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Heather October 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I can’t imagine running with music either. It is too distracting. But for long slow runs I’m not too excited about doing I listen to audio books. Best selling mystery type things that make the hours pass more quickly. I do 80% of my runs on trails but am lucky to live adjacent to miles and miles of conservation and national refuge land.

  • Reply inthefastlane October 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    YES!! I never run with music. Running, to me, is a time for silence. When all the sounds of life (kids, work, blah blah blah) are quiet and I can be alone with my thoughts.

    And also, I live near some trails that are absolutely fabulous in the fall. LOVE this time of year for running.

    I need running. My family needs me to run. It makes me a better person for the time I spend filling myself up with it.

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