Living between my tiny Irish village and the metropolis of Paris for the last month means that my running has been a bit scattered, something which gets to me. I am a Virgo after all and we are all about that routine.
This morning I slid my feet into my shoes, determined to get out the door and re-establish the act of early morning running. It is as much for my mind – sometimes even more so – than it is for my body. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: running is meditation.
For around 4.5 kilometres of this morning’s run I headed out straight along one of the relatively new roads that runs around the family house and heads out to join a motorway. It stretches out in front of you for miles (literally) and on either side there is nothing to occupy you save for the sight of rolling fields, this morning covered in frost and seeming to shine under the weak glow of the sun.
Yes, the sun. I’d almost forgotten what it looked like, such is the side-effect of
winter in Ireland.
I had only planned on doing a short run but everything about being out there – the cold, my hands feeling frozen into fists, the sweat gathering around my neck or under my armpits, the sun, the silence when I removed my headphones – made me go on a little further.
Here are five serotonin induced thoughts I had during those fifty one minutes.
Are my knees OK?
I even looked down at them a couple of times as if expecting to see them smiling back at me assuring me they weren’t about to give out and send me flying headlong into a bush. The left one felt a little brittle towards the end but they navigated the inclines well and right now as I write this I have no pain. Success!
I forgot to bring them out with me for the second time and I paid for it initially with my fingers going a deep shade of red and then drying out to a very unbecoming crinkled and cracked state. Oddly though, I enjoyed this sensation – the sensation of pain? – which makes me feel I should sit myself down and investigate the reason behind this. *raises eyebrows at myself*
I really am happy on my own.
I am the person for whom parties constitute such enormous effort that I will happily sleep for much of the day following the event, utterly worn out and down. I like people but I like them when I like them and in the doses that I can comfortable handle. Not being a drinker doesn’t help me to just loosen up and go with social events.
I’ve grown into this social awkwardness in some respects: I used to be quite bubbly and happy to be constantly surrounded by others. The last couple of years I have discovered that I really don’t mind being on my own. Headphones on or off, stressed or contented, sometimes a little time with myself is all I need. Even if it is anti-social it’s a kind of positive anti-social: I no longer feel the need to drown myself out with others.
When will I find time to blog?
If you’re a regular reader you’ll realise that this post is coming much later than usual (sorry). Today has been a rather packed day and I had a number of things to do around the various villages that I suspected would take up the best part of the afternoon and evening. I have an exciting job opportunity coming up which I plan to blog about in the next few weeks as it finally comes to fruition (hopefully).
Blogging has become so much a part of my life since I started at the end of October that I can hardly remember a time when I had hours of free time to myself during the day; hours I’d use up watching other people living their lives on the varying social media platforms. I adore my routine of posting, planning, commenting and developing new ideas for the days and weeks ahead. This whole world has opened my eyes to a satisfaction that I hadn’t experienced prior and I am unlikely any time soon to want to relinquish.
I suppose if I know I have busy days ahead I should really wake up earlier and obviously it was on my mind this morning on the run. There were a good couple of minutes when I composed what I’d say about the act of running while I was doing just so. That was, there’s no other word for it, enjoyable.
I just love running.
Around the half-way point of my morning run readers I felt joyful. I never use that word. It seems necessary to reserve it for moments in life when ‘happiness’ or any of its synonyms simply cannot encapsulate what you’re experiencing.
I don’t think you’d look at me and say ‘there she is, a joyful person’. I stress and worry a lot about my family and my friends; I take my millennial-without-a-house-yet situation very seriously; I pour over my finances to ensure I won’t suddenly find myself at the mercy of my partner or worse, my parents. Add my ever critical self-assessing into the mix and there’s not much joy to be found.
Except that this morning when running there was. I’ve caught myself doing it once before in Switzerland but earlier I was surprised that it was happening here, when I was so cold and facing a day of tasks and work ahead. Running alone down that truly dull stretch of grey road, I was singing.