Albuquerque · motherhood · Running

Before Dawn

This morning I ran in the dark for the first time in months, sandwiched between baby feedings, almost shrugged off in favor of crawling back into a warm bed.

But no. Sometimes you have to just take the step and exercise the all-too-easily atrophied muscle known as willpower.

So I did it. I put the baby down in her bassinet, slipped into the bathroom, and stealthily (don’t open the door too noisily or drop anything! Don’t bump into anything! Pray that my joints don’t creak too much!) put on running clothes.

Amateur tip: have running clothes ready and easily accessible for early-morning sessions. Any wardrobe choice that has to be made, any drawers or closets that require opening, will take down willpower with ruthless efficiency.

How was this ever my routine? I felt like an intruder in the night, trotting tentatively along the streets like I wasn’t technically allowed to be out there. I heard sounds I’m not used to hearing: the persistent hoot of an owl on the hunt (is it me or is “hoot” not nearly a predatory-enough verb for owls?), the enthusiastic crow of a rooster who simply couldn’t wait for the sun to come up.

It felt strange. My own movement seemed foreign.

But there were a few familiar, if rusty, feelings astir. I love running with the world to myself. I love feeling like I’m in on a secret. I love the stillness of the early morning, when the stars are drowsy but still bright, especially on a Sunday. Only an occasional car drives by. City lights glow to the West. Mountains loom invisible, waiting, to the East. And here in my neighborhood, apparently someone still has Christmas lights up. I love that.

It was a quiet but strong start to the day. I made space for myself and held it, in the dark, without stumbling.

It was a wake-up call to my willpower muscle, and the rest of me.

It was a step.

2 thoughts on “Before Dawn

  1. What a great post! I’ve been struggling to run in the morning. This is inspiring. Oh, and I have that same tracksmith hat. 🙂

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