I am in the throes of a new love affair. Or rather a rekindling with an old flame who never once let me down, who has always been there, even when it was I who’d walked away, turned my back. Stayed in bed and was either slovenly, too tired, or just spent beyond repair. But recently, I have arranged things so that I have this window of time, between 5 and 6 a.m. all to myself, and my constant companion – running. Morning running to be specific, as in telling the color of a person’s eyes.
Daybreak running. When it’s still dewy and overcast as the sun has not yet burnt through the thick layer of dense fog in the sky, nor has the run yet cleared the thick layer of heaviness in my mind.
Running seems to open things up, a stretch, a big yawn, a clearing. It’s a bit like Liquid Drano to the brain, in that it clears out the cobwebs and what’s clogged or stuck in there for me. It heats me up, all my limbs, elongates me, and takes me places further out, only to then return me back to myself again -- home base.
I often have elevated thoughts, or revelations while running. Ones which may seem tiny to another, but not to me. How to organize the day, like today, my twin sons Petros and Theodore have been begging to be taken for a frozen treat, Petros for frozen yogurt at the shiny new TCBY in West Simsbury, Theodore for ice cream proper, which is owed him after losing his first tooth. And I realized that I can take each while the other is in the back-to-back tutoring sessions I'd arranged for this afternoon with their teacher for next year. I was thrilled. I’d figured something out which would make the day easier.
I am also not alone when I run. I feel surrounded on this empty road, as no cars are out this early. Maybe the man who delivers the newspapers before or just after 6 a.m. Maybe someone headed early to work. There have been more bikers of late, as it’s summer. They are mostly men, being their fantasy of Lance Armstrong, minus the doping charges. But there are birds catching breakfast, deer poking through the woods, crows pecking at some fuzzy, small corpse, and just the actuality of morning, it’s own very real, specific to today, presence.
I think about how my babies are all asleep back home, heavily asleep, as I pound this lovely road, up and down; it’s one long 2 or 2.5 mile shot out from our house, depending on my ambition, say if I want to actually touch foot onto 44 before turning back. So a total run of 4-5 miles to be had. A nice chunk to chew/tear up first thing.
I love it. What can I say? It feels almost spiritual. I feel more positive. I am getting this done early so I don’t waste time or energy sorting out when I can run later. I shower only once! And just around the time my babies are all five waking, stumbling into our bathroom, and finding me damp, applying creams and products and combing my hair, it’s a lovely sight to see them. I have thought through, lived though, and gotten my heart rate up through 40-50 minutes of sheer (personal) bliss. I have given myself the oxygen mask that I need so that I may now in turn help them with theirs. Because I have already been to the edge of morning, touched it, and am here to tell tale.
Jennifer Dulos also blogs at www.fivemakesseven.com.