Bronwyn Morrissey

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Running from Heart

By Bronwyn Morrissey

We arrive at the trailhead and park the car.  I look at all the running gear on the seat next to me: a handheld water bottle, a heart rate monitor and watch, a full running pack and my La Sportiva running hat. I grab only my hat, leaving the rest. My partner and I hit the trail. Today I run with no agenda, no plans, no goal and I run to escape the hectic pace of life. For a period of time, I just enjoy being outside and clearing my mind.

As we run around the first corner and start to head up the hill, I notice the sweet smell of the pine trees. My partner bolts ahead of me. I stay relaxed in the rhythm I have grown comfortable over the years with seeing the clouds and feeling the cool breeze as I wander the forested trail.

Often times when I run, there is a specific goal of distance, speed, heart rate or elevation gain. On those days I focus inward on how my legs, heart and lungs are working together. I ask myself “can I go faster? Can I push harder? Can I pass the guy in front of me?” I am not aware of what my eyes are seeing, my mind occupied with training is elsewhere and busy. Physically I may be on the trails     but my mind doesn’t even notice the beauty I am missing.

Today is different, or should I say today is becoming the norm. I am running to enjoy what is around me and clear my mind. I feel my body where it is in the moment and I don’t push it to do more. Every step is a joy and a blessing. Looking around me I see nature in a different way and I am curious, wondering how long that interesting rock I pass has been on the side of the trail and what has it seen. I feel my feet hitting the earth and I am experiencing the now.

As we reach the top of the hill the air suddenly warms, a welcome respite form the approaching winter. We turn around and head down towards “reality” but I hold off all that I should do for another few miles. Again my running buddy, who has no brakes flies down the hill without a care.  As my two legs turn over quickly on the steep section, his four legs flow effortlessly galloping along in the pure joy of running.

When we reach the end of our adventure I pat his head “Good boy Tucker” and we jump back in the car. Today we run because we love to run. Today we run from heart.

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