I only had time for a short run today. And I was bummed about it. It was gorgeous out. Nothing but sun and blue sky. I’d call it a Savory Day. It was the first really Spring feeling day yet. The kind of day you don’t want to rush through. Especially on the heels of one of the most tedious winters I can remember. And yet, that’s what I was doing—Rushing. Not savoring.
I was hell bent on squeezing in a run before Vet Appointment #32 of the year with Miss Evil Beagle. I had the appointment in my phone for Tuesday. Wrong-O. It was Monday. And I was sitting in traffic with a lot of angry indivuals who clearly didn’t get a visit from the Easter Bunny yesterday. Crabby. All of them. I pulled in the driveway, ran inside, took the pups out quick-quick and shimmied into my shorts and t-shirt. Ahhhhh. There you are. Now we’re talking. I only have 30 minutes. I am so not showering before this appointment.
Off I go.
In my head, I frantically run through my week: Am I running long on Saturday? Should I race on Sunday? It’s my Birthday on Saturday. Gah. I almost forgot. Wonder what we’re doing? What am I cooking this week? Can I make it to Trader Joe’s before they close? What day is that study coming down at work? I hope it turns out well. Damn! I need to register for that 2 day seminar. I wonder who’s speaking? Can I make it to yoga this week? I need it. I guess I’ll lift Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday then? Good grief. STOP.
On. And on.
I’m so busy thinking, planning, obsessing, and organizing, that I’m not even ENJOYING the run. Or the sun on my face. Or the fact that I am FINALLY running in shorts. I’m not clearing my mind. I am scheduling my goddamn week within an inch of its life. When did my runs turn into this? Can’t I shut down for 30 stinking minutes? Why can’t I let go, and just run?
Then this happens.
I turn onto a windy road about three quarters of a mile from my house. I see a Little Boy walking. He is kicking rocks and walking slowly by himself. I startle him. I didn’t mean to. But I did. He sees me. Stops. Turns. Looks back. And waits. He looks about 8 years old. I run up to him, as if to pass, and smile. He looks me dead in the eye.
You wanna race?
3 little words. Ready. Set. Go. And just like that. We were off. This Little Boy and I ran against each other as if our lives depended on it. Side by side. Stride for stride. His face pure determination. Mine? A smile as wide as the sun. We tore down Half Mile Road. Just he and I. Outside. On a clear blue sunny day. For those few minutes, nary a care in the world. No schedules. No appointments. No plans. Racing and laughing. Running, simply for the pure joy of running. It was a gift. When he got to his driveway, he threw his arms up victorious, breaking the imaginary tape.
I yelled thanks. And challenged him to a rematch. I just kept sprinting on home. Smiling. Running as fast as my legs would take me. Trying to hang on to that feeling for as long as I could. To be a kid! That Little Boy gave me such a wonderful Birthday present. I wish I had a jar to bottle it up. I would breathe in its simplicity every time I felt cluttered. So simple and pure. I don’t ever want to lose that feeling.
When I got to my driveway, I did the same thing as my friend.
Arms up. Tape broken. Victorious.
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