Saturday, November 15, 2008
displaced... yes! lost... not a chance!
for a displaced runner, at what point does a jog switch from an adventure to exercise? well, i will let you know if/when that happens! so far, exploring the rural area surrounding the university by foot has been pure joy. armed with my ipod and runners, i set out initially with the intention of burning some calories, feeling my body move/breath/sweat, and as an added bonus, to do some sight-seeing. well, the intent quickly shifted to being only about the adventure, the beauty, the absolute majestic qualities of the area, and any thoughts of calories, distance, pace, or heart rate are soon forgotten. i guess a runner is always able to find their way to a path, and without thought, never seems to get lost. i always seem to end up in a loop, with no pre-defined turning point... things always just work out. i guess with a river and mountains as markers, neither a map nor a plan are needed!
most of you know me as the self-proclaimed gym rat i have been for many years, and to be honest, i miss lifting weights on a daily basis. BUT, without a gym to use (the student gym is only available to students for a couple of hours a week??), the alternative is running and push-ups! the running is a past-time i have also enjoyed for years, so this is a natural habit to fall back into. the thing though that makes it so pure and lovely, is the excitement with which you breathe every breath, see every sight, and smell every passing breeze. every step brings more energy... around every turn is a sight that makes you think, 'ah man, i should have brought my camera!'. but you are easily reminded that this is your time, your moment... soak it up! the image will be forever captured in my heart, so although i won't be able to share the images with you all, i know they are burned in my memory.
i think of runs i went on while in oz, nearly 9 years ago, and i can remember details that today, seem like just yesterday. i remember the 1st run i went on after arriving, and the distinct clumsiness i felt crossing roads, trying to figure out which way to look for cars, which side of the road to run on! i remember the texture and taste of the humidity in the air, and the weight it added to each step. i can remember thinking about the dangers of being a tourist in mexico when i was running on this path near our resort, that was lined with the tallest bulrushes that nearly arced completely over the trail, as if a tunnel. my steps quickened, and my heart beat faster, almost a sense of claustrophobia. just recalling that memory makes me type a bit faster now! in new york, on a trip i took by myself, running up 5th ave and into central park, hearing the silence of the streets and the stillness of the air... ohhh new york!
feeling these memories so vivid and clear makes me remember how blessed i am to have my runners here in austria. i know that each new adventure i share with my heart and the soles of my shoes will be banked like secret memories, easily brought to the surface to enjoy again and again. i wish you all could feel the euphoria i did this afternoon, with the sun warming my face and the sounds of the rushing river quenching my thirst... but at the same time, i feel selfishly sinful keeping that experience and memory all to myself!