I went for a run today. My legs were leaden at the start protesting after a full on ski day yesterday. I breathed raggedly and wondered why I was pushing my 40-something bod through this physical trial. Fifteen minutes later, my breathing eased; I settled into a comfortable pace and turned onto a trail winding through a vineyard. The bells of a nearby church tolled the noon hour. I carried on through apple and kiwi orchards and the enticing smells of Sunday lunch from a nearby Auberge wafted over me.
Airplanes left criss-crossing con trails though an azure blue sky and the sun reflected off the snowcapped peaks of the Alps and the Jura mountains. Acknowledging the warmth of this January day, I removed my gloves, unzipped my windbreaker and let the fresh air wash over me as I grunted up a hill.
Running clears my mind and focuses my thoughts. I plan my day, my week, my life. I embrace hope...like salvation in Darfur or a Clinton/Obama presidential ticket. I look forward to new days and new experiences and feel empowered to take on anything. Strong in mind and body, running is my holy grail.
I left my sunny open trail and headed into the shady Bois du Jussy. Streams of melting snow rushed past me, a mourning dove crooned its' plaintive song, and a woodpecker tapped a rhythm on a nearby tree. I exited the woods near the quiet rural village of Lullier. Tall cypresses guarding the stone entrance of a house acted as sentinels reminding me that I was on the back stretch of this run. My arms and legs pumped purposefully as kilometer after kilometer disappeared beneath me.
Finally turning toward my house, I slowed to a walk and let my heart return to a resting rate, endorphins racing wildly through me. As I opened my front gate, the question of why I keep doing this flashed briefly in my head...ah yes, I remember why.