Nothing is Impossible

If you say never then there is no room for maybe. -me

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A run in the snow. . .

The rude and currently unwanted buzzing startles me back to reality. It’s unwanted, yet previously invited, cue to remove the blankets and sit up make me groan but I accept it anyway. I roll over, grab my phone and hit the snooze button. I lay there thinking that I should just go back to sleep and I need the rest more than I need to subject myself to freezing temperatures and the elements of winter. But my logic argues that I’ll regret it if I don’t and besides, there is no time later for it. Logic beats out slothfulness and I sit up.
The sun has not yet risen and my sleeping family lies unconsciously in their warm beds. I turn off the snooze and stand up. Once my feet have hit the floor I’ve committed my self and despite my yawning and the stiffness of my back I pull on my clothes. A quick peak out side and I debate once again what I’m about to do. It snowed all day yesterday and looks as though it continued through the night. Then I think about the slice of pecan pie I had last night before bed and I make up my mind. I give my slumbering babies a kiss and I sneak downstairs. As I tie my shoes I think about the path I will be taking. It’s still early and I will be by myself. I should take the main street first just to be by more people during the last lightless hour of morning, but since it snowed the sidewalks will not yet be clear. So I decide on one street over so that I can be on the road without too many people driving by but yet busy with enough traffic to create tire tracks which are better for my purpose than an untouched foot of snow.
I open the door and a cold winter blast hits me in the face. I consider my sanity as I step outside to a sleeping white covered world. I select a playlist on my ipod, hit play and as the first song comes on I tell my feet to move. Slowly, as the rhythm of the song starts beating in my ear, I begin my run. I feel the bitter cold on my eyes and through my pant legs. I’m grateful for the extra layer I decided to wear and tell my self I will get warmer soon. I run through a set of fresh tire tracks but as my feet slip slightly with every step I hope that once I hit Lester it will be better. I round the corner and begin focusing on the song playing in my ears, Ace of Base singing about some girl who just wants another baby. I don’t really get the song but it’s got a good beat and it’s fast enough that I can move with it. I round another corner and I am thankful that a few neighbors ventured out this morning before me so that I have some sort of track of footprints to run through. I reach the main road and some parts are clear enough to run at my normal pace but most of the sidewalks are fairly snow covered. I imagine if this is what it’s like to run through mud. And then I think about soldiers running through mud in heavy army boots and I decide the snow isn’t that bad. I make it to yet another corner and I turn. No sidewalks on this busy street so I stick to the side of the road and hope I make it to Lester before any cars come down.
I make it to Lester without incident and turn. Ahhh, this is what I wanted, a quiet road with just enough traffic to break down the snow. I am able pick up my pace a little and as I run I stare down the long white seemingly endless road. Black Eyed Peas begin bumping in my ear and as I approach the one mile mark, that warmth I knew would come begins to wash over me. The bitter wind on my face isn’t harsh anymore and now I welcome it.
I start to feel my legs give way to the run. My lungs hit their stride and I am a machine now, pumping oxygen and pushing bone, blood and muscle. With each beat of the drum my feet pound away at the snow packed ground. I can feel a smile come across my face as I begin to feel magnificent. The all powerful machine that is now my body moves rhythmically to my breathing and I begin to push my legs faster. The oxygen in my blood is rich and I feel unstoppable. I am a machine and I can do anything. This is what I woke up for. This is why I brave the elements and fight exhaustion. It is my addiction, the high that I crave daily. As my body powers against gravity and sings from every muscle with pure adrenaline I am released from the bonds that the daily stress of life hold me in. This is my joy.
My smile lingers as I push my feet through snow and slush. I pass the last block of houses and as I run onto a long houseless street I suddenly feel a quiet warmth as I am enveloped by the snowy fields around me. I am inspired to remove my ear buds and slow my pace. I can hear the buffeted sounds of cars far off in the distance passing over the snow. It almost sounds like the world is breathing and its echo bounces repeatedly off each flake of snow. I can see the east mountains painted white and surrounded by a somber mist. White blanketed fields on either side absorb the sounds of my footsteps and suddenly I feel as though all that exists now is the snow covered valley and me. The tranquility of this beautiful scene sinks into my soul. The thrill of being a machine quiets and I am running now with nature. A new joy sinks in, one that I have never felt before. The joy of being alive and feeling the earth live with me. I am still strong and magnificent but I am no longer a force fighting against the ground and earth with my feet. But I am flowing with my surroundings as they move with me. A wave of optimism and ambition overcome me and my mind is flooded with ideas and hopes for the future when suddenly I come upon the end of this blissful street.
I would round the corner here and head towards the busy street and take my chances with the snow just to add distance to my run but something has been stirred inside me. I turn around and forsake my typical path for the tranquility of the oceans of snow that surround this special street. My smile still sits on my face as I run back on my path. I relish the sounds of nothing that deafen my ears and I wonder what life was like in this valley before civilization invaded. The majestic peace of the frozen valley beckons my imagination and I am temporarily lost in another time as I run.
Two rows of houses pass by before I realize I have come to and passed the end of this street that has stirred so much. I instinctively reach for my ear buds but then stop. My ears scream for continued abstinence from my ipod’s chatter and as I run through the neighborhood my thoughts keep pouring back to the peaceful valley that once was.
My thoughts see a simpler time. A time without ipods, traffic or email, before carpools, mortgage payments and text messages. A time when what mattered most was the basic needs of each other. My heart sinks a little as I yearn for a life I never had. A life in this valley more saturated in this quiet peace than would ever be possible now with so many lives running in chaos around it. My longing to experience this valley void of technology and progress has become central to my thoughts. I search for a way to find my imagined valley of peace but my mind comes up empty.
A sudden attack on my senses startle my wondering mind, and heart, as I hear two dogs yell at me from the corner house. I now realize I’ve turned down Crystal, the last leg of my run. Usually this would be mile six for me, but with the snow and my frost covered eyelashes, three miles will have to do.
My eyes wander up towards the horizon. I am east facing now and I can see a glimmer of light peaking over the mountain range. The bright warmth that is just beyond reach excites my soul. What will this beautiful orb of optimism bring? What magic journeys will be had today? I think back to my peaceful street, all snow and ice crystal laden, and decide that it is exactly what I need to pursue, quiet tranquil, undisturbed peace in a life less than perfect. The screaming of the traffic I fight daily, the mountain of laundry that never seams to shrink, the disaster that is the floors of my home, the maze of uncurled, split ended hair that I all to often pull up in a lazy pony tail just to be done with, these are the things I yearn to escape from. The headache of schedules, the heartache of the daily news cast, the ulcer of technology overload. Then it hits me as I feel the slushy ground give way to my pounding feet. Escape is exactly what I am doing, leaving the chaos behind for simple, pure, undaunted joy as I morph into the machine that takes over in these cold early morning hours. This is my paradise.
My smile returns in full force. My legs begin to pump harder. I am less prohibited in my strides on this street and I run with purpose. My muscles continue to pump adrenaline as my lungs fill and collapse repeatedly with pure fresh oxygen. And as my legs carry me, almost with a mind of their own, my soul flies. I become something else, something brimming with confidence, purpose, and joy. I am a machine dancing with the pavement.
I return home to a rising sun, my lungs alive, and my mind clear. I stretch briefly before retrieving my key. I can hear the faint voices of my children, the energy they have resonates through the door. Energy only little children have about rising with the sun. I imagine them sitting at the breakfast table, their father sleepily assembling their cereal bowls as he tries to keep up with their usual overload of morning chatter. I’m happy to be home, to greet their smiling faces, and I’m looking forward to a sun filled day with my little angels. I am renewed. Stronger, happier. I turn and glance at the white drenched road behind me. I smile, and as I vow “see you tomorrow”, I turn the knob and walk in.


  1. love reading why you run. you are amazing!

    i especially liked "The headache of schedules, the heartache of the daily news cast, the ulcer of technology overload" and the orb of optimism.