Monday, November 14, 2011

Running the Obvious Path

     The calendar tells us that it's winter here in North East Ohio but I think that Old Man Winter is still on vacation because the warm temperatures have been a pleasant surprise. Yesterday was Christmas and families and friends gathered all over the world to celebrate and enjoy the holiday. I began my day with an early Christmas morning run. It may not seem like much but that run was a little gift to myself and was just enough to slow the hectic pace of the holiday season. Nothing but a quiet run in the dark before the world was awake with only the sound of my footsteps to make everything seem right.

   My day continued as I celebrated with my brothers, parents and sister in law. As usual we enjoyed great food, laughs and some crazy gifts that Santa has been known for giving and although the day was fun and spirited something seemed a little different. I can't say if it was a good different or a bad different things were just different.

   I headed home digesting the day and all of the food and decided to go for another run. This run was mainly to help burn the excessive amount of calories I consumed but along that 7 mile stretch of road something hit me that seemed to put things into perspective or at least explain that different feeling. Two separate runs and two separate experiences. Early in the dark morning with only the sound of my footsteps and the beats of my heart to an early evening jaunt where the lives holiday travelers exhausted from the days events buzzing through town retuning home.

   I know that I'm stating the obvious here but my moment of clarity came when I realized that everything is constantly changing. It's such an basic observation but one that I'm sure most of us take for granted or at least never take the time to appreciate.

   There is the old saying that people don't change and after yesterday I couldn't disagree more. We all are changing. Every single day we change and mostly because our lives are filled with the chaos of living we don't quite recognize the subtle differences that occur. For the past several years I have been consumed with trying to be a better person all dictated from my past experiences when all along I have been changing. For the first time I am actually comfortable in my own skin. I'm at peace with where I'm at in life and there is a calm surrounding my future.

   The miles I've been running on "My Road" have given me the experience, patience and understanding to finally come to terms with who I am as a person. For most, all of the running I do may seem a little obsessive or an escape from reality. When all along I was just attempting to put life into perspective. I finally realized that I'm not chasing anything. I'm not running from anything. I'm just a runner, a runner who just loves to run. I'm a runner who uses the cadence of my heart to put a little bit of clarity into this wonderful world we are living in and accept the changes that come day by day.

  As 2011 comes to a close I wish everyone the same clarity and peace that I found along that seven mile stretch of road in the new year. I hope everyone takes the time to pause from life and recognize all of the beautiful changes that surround us and by taking the time to admire the obvious our friendships, relationships, marriages and most importantly our lives will be better.

 Happy New Year and take the time to enjoy that deep breath of life that we all so enjoy.