I woke up a few Fridays ago determined to get my ‘down’ time in on the trail before the workday started. I got it. I also got a lesson from Mother Nature down time management.
I got the kids to the bus, miraculously in time for the first stop. Then I headed to the trail at the park. It had been raining all night, and there were still drips and drops, but there were also peeks of sunshine. By the time I stopped at the park, it was drizzling, but I wasn’t too worried. It was about to clear up.
Wrapping my mp3 player in a plastic sandwich baggie and then into my belt, I pushed play and headed down the trail. Five hundred feet into the park, the sky opened up. Instantly, I was drenched from head to toe and supremely grateful that, in my now-soaked shirt and running pants and looking like a jelly donut entering a wet T-shirt contest, I was the only person in the park. I thought seriously about turning back.
It wasn’t fortitude or courage that kept me going. It was the knowledge that I had a To-Do list a mile long. Work was next on the agenda, then (hopefully) blog posts, getting ready for a class I was about to help teach, laundry (always laundry), vacuuming, dinner and writing before bed. I knew this was the only time to get my down time.
I took refuge under a shelter when the rain was too blindingly-heavy to navigate the path. When the rain slowed, I restarted my run from the beginning, figuring I couldn’t possibly get any wetter. Mother Nature laughed and let out another sprinkle. As I got to the end of the third mile and started the fourth, it had stopped feeling like work and begun feeling like down time – without and with the rain.
That’s when it struck me that the rain was just part of the game. The weather is going to do nothing but get worse over the next few months. As I write, it’s still dark this morning. Weather and time changes close in with their excuses not to run, but the dark is also part of the game. Winning that game and getting that down time – on the trail or the keyboard – is ignoring those excuses and getting it anyway.