Albuquerque · Fitness · Running

Finding Change

It’s back-to-school time.

There’s evidence of this everywhere: Tax-Free Weekend has come and gone. I live close to a lot of schools, and the buses are rumbling up and rolling out. The teachers I know talk about decorating bulletin boards, and my friends with kids are all posting first-day-of-school pictures aglow with optimism. Change is upon us.

The weather has begun to shift, too. Albuquerque is finally getting the sweet relief of cloud cover and rain, bringing (slightly) cooler temperatures. This, I LOVE. But I’ve also noticed that when the dog and I go for our morning walks, it’s darker. The sun has begun to sleep in a little bit later. This, I…accept. Sort of.

Change is upon us.

Sometimes, though, I feel like life isn’t changing. It’s back-to-school time and the weather’s different and yeah, football’s starting back up again, but here I am doing the same stuff I’ve been doing for…well, for what feels like a long time.

I think everyone’s been there before. And it’s veeery easy to look around, sigh, and declare, “I’m stuck in a rut.” And then either mope indefinitely, or leap at a grand solution — maybe a new fitness goal, or a new job, or a big vacation — the way my dog leaps at a peanut butter treat. But moping indefinitely is no good, and grand solutions aren’t always practical.

I’d like to suggest a middle-ground solution: running.

People say “running isn’t exciting” as both an expression of disdain for the sport, and an expression of love. What some folks find boring, others find calming.

Runners who have been at it for a while know that actually, running can be VERY exciting, whether for good or bad reasons. Usually, though…well, let’s just say that I publish very few Facebook posts about my day-to-day running.

However. Here’s the thing. Even though the act of running may be pretty routine, no two runs are exactly the same. Either the runner is different, no matter how slightly, or the environment is different.

Our pace changes. Our mood changes. Our motivation levels, our overall fitness, our awareness of what’s around us — they all shift and rise and recede, yes, every day.

And speaking of what’s around us, that changes, too, whether it’s obvious, like the weather, or more subtle, like a tree that was bare yesterday but is covered in buds today.

Change doesn’t always need to be dramatic. And knowing that an escape from fear-of-missing-out-on-all-this-change is only as far away as my running shoes? I don’t know about you, but that lifts me right out of my rut.

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3 thoughts on “Finding Change

  1. I’ve often thought that my inability to just take life one day at a time and live in the present moment is what draws me to running. Sure, it’s supposed to be all about zen and mindfulness and being super IN the moment, but I think my addiction comes from the fact that running gives me the feeling that I can somehow overpower time and shortcut around nature – as if just by moving my feet faster I can somehow speed the world along. I can’t, obviously, but I think it helps quiet the urges you allude to in this post. Back to school and the Olympics have a way of reminding the rest of us how painfully routine adult life is.

  2. Let’s not take life or even one day for granted. I know many former runners who for one reason or another are no longer able – but very much wish they could. Savor each run. You never know when it might be your last.

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