Running for joy

It is wonderful to just run spontaneously for joy, without judgement, with no expectations about distance or time, and with nothing to measure other than the pleasure of being present in the body in a beautiful place . How often do we just let the place and the moment be the inspiration, responding to the environment as it presents itself, instead of it being a plan (How long? How far? How fast? Special footwear? None of the above — aaah).

On our last day in Madeira, the trail that Kent and I had started out to hike was just too inviting (and so easy compared with the steep mountain hiking that had come before), so while Kent recovered from his encounter with a gastric bug by maintaining a stoic trudge, I had the opportunity to take off.

To keep the body light, adaptable and balanced, I just love running trails. The built in variability demands that I meet the ground with a softness and springiness through the whole body, enjoying the imperative to mix up lateral motions with the forward, varied step heights over rocks, feeling the body place itself over each foot as it fell, being light on both the up and the down.

This was a moment to treasure. Running was not an available option for me for some years, and perhaps it hasn’t for been for you either. I can say though, that if you keep encouraging your body every day, with patience, intelligence and awareness, you shape your potential for tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.

Steady progress. Don’t give up. Be spontaneous. And be kind to yourself. Take stock this time next year. You might be surprised.


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