Yesterday I went for a walk around the local lake (Lake Tomahawk). Not because I needed to log miles for race training. Not because I wanted to burn extra calories or because I was afraid of weekly weigh-in. I went for a walk because it was a beautiful sunny day and I had some extra time before meeting some friends for lunch.
In fact I lost track of time and was ten minutes late to our meeting. All was forgiven and I didn’t feel guilty. It was empowering to simply…..be. To move my body because I wanted to AND I was able to do so. To want to be in the sunshine and not hiding in the house making excuses about laundry and errands.
While walking there was young boy, no older than two, squatting in perfect form dragging a stick through the gravely dirt. He was so excited to watch the path that he was creating and kept looking up at the sunshine. Then his gaze would switch to the lake and the ducks swimming. Next he would smile at his mother who was watching him with a loving smile on her lips. As I walked past them I said something to the mom about that all of life was an adventure at that age and she replied something about the reminder of the gift of life. I thought about that interaction for the remainder of my walk. I too begin to look up at the beautiful sky, watch the momma duck and her four babies waddling along beside me on the path, notice the people and took it all into my senses.
I’m grateful for the experience. I’m mindful of the reminder to move…not because I have to, but because I CAN. I’m keenly aware of the gift of sunshine, movement, free time to just be alone and in silence. This is what I am thinking of on this #ThoughtfulThursday.
I’ve never run on a treadmill. I guess it’s necessary for some, and would certainly be convenient for me, as I live in the Pacific NW. Yet…I’ve never done it. I’m not sorry. I’m grateful that my friend Leslie introduced me to running outside, and not just outside but on a trail. I haven’t done much trail running since I’ve lived in WA. It’s truly sad, but I just have stayed close to home and the shoulders on our roads are quite wide and I feel safe. Yet, my body and soul are screaming for the woods, the dirt, the trail. I am going to have to find one SOON.
In the meantime as I’ve been training for my 10K I’ve found a new route. It reminds me of running in Montreat, NC. The hills are challenging, the homes are spectacular and the beauty is breathtaking. The hill work has been good for my body and the challenge good for my mind. My times aren’t fast, but I know I’m challenging myself. Some of the things I’ve seen on my new route that certainly couldn’t be seen or experienced from a treadmill are:
- The USS Nimitz
- Amazing flowers, plants and trees
- The Puget Sound
- Breathtaking sunsets over the water
- 787s flying overhead…so close it feels like you could touch them if you jumped high enough
- An island
- A Naval base
- Snow capped mountains
- Children playing
- The smell of rain
- A lighthouse
- Evergreen trees that are several stories tall
- Homes that are worth more zeros than I can count
Ok…get the picture? I love running outside and pray that my body will always allow me to continue this practice. Now hear me say that if I HAVE to run on a treadmill someday I won’t begrudge it, I’ll just know that to me it isn’t as special as being outside.
Here are two shots of a sunset I captured last summer. I need to show you some others sometime.