Most days, I run the makeshift path I’ve worn around the perimeter of our house. Fallen branches form impromptu hurtles, and this morning I thought about why I like my route so much better than paved roads or the groomed paths at the parks.
Whenever I get back into running, whether for a race or just to re-inaugurate a healthy habit, I always find myself at the same crossroads – sometimes more than once in my training regimen. In the beginning, it feels better to have run than to start running. Then the hills get smaller. The running begins to feel good. I get to a different crossroads where one path needs regular running to feel good each day. The cross road is treacherous, however, the other path leads right back to my life luxuriating on our thrift store couch in front of the TV.
Jumping over the occasional branches this morning, dodging puddles and charging up the hill by our apple tree made me feel like a warrior woman. I imagine people who might’ve run here before, wondering if they too felt themselves merging with nature as they padded through the temple of trees.
At the end of the run, there was the conspicuous absence of appetite. There was calm and the recognition of the will — fleeting, admittedly— to do better by my body. I knew that, this morning, I had already done right by my soul.