About running, sprinting, feeling ALIVE

As part of my new training, I woke up this morning with the idea of going to a local track and sprint. Good thing our town is small because I went to the high school track which was closed and ended up at a park that has a really great track to run on. I parked my car and didn’t even think about how cold it was outside… I was excited to hit the track again, this was something I hadn’t done in a couple of years and it felt like I was visiting an old, best friend who I had shared very special moments with.

As I was getting ready to head out to the track, I remembered how my love for running began. It all started at a very difficult time in my life. I started running at the time because I felt like I had to run away from something. I then started to run because I somehow felt that I needed to find myself but I quickly realized that there was no “self” to be found, I was already here and I could create a life I wanted if I found the determination and power to do that. Running gave me the opportunity to be deep in my thoughts by getting myself used to being in touch with nature. The sweet, crisp air hitting my face in the early mornings, my heart beating faster and faster as I increased my speed, my core muscles engaging with every step, my leg muscles getting stronger as I ran. The physical sensation of it all amazed me. I realized through running that I already had the power and determination to get myself through those difficult moments and so it was that I had found a best friend to share my deepest thoughts with… the track.

So this morning I parked my car, determined to go visit an old friend and even though it wasn’t the “same” friend because I’m in a new town, the feeling of butterflies in my belly was there. I opened the door and headed out. I breathed in deeply… Oh yes! I recognized that cold air! “Hello, old friend” I said and started to walk 2 laps, and then began my sprint/walk laps. There were a few folks doing laps, walking or riding a bike, but no one was sprinting. I must have looked funny but I didn’t care. I started doing my usual self-pep talks “COME ON, YOU CAN DO THIS!” I felt it, the cold air hitting my face, my heart beating, my core muscles engaging, my leg muscles getting stronger… it was all there again, I had found my friend again and it felt great!

Then something totally randomly awesome happened, there was this man who must have been in his 70’s doing laps on his bike and every time we’d cross our paths (he was doing his laps going the opposite way) he’d lift his fist in the air and say “YES! GO! GO! GO!” Ha! Look at that, the track had given me a new gift, a cheerleader! It was awesome to see his fist go up in the air every time we crossed paths. How awesome is this town? I love it here for SO many reasons.

When I started my cool down and walked my last two laps, I realized the biggest gift that the track had given me, the feeling of being totally, absolutely alive. With that, I headed home to eat my yummy breakfast.