Home > Uncategorized > The fun in run

The fun in run

Beginnings are tricky. I think they are trickier when you’re not quite sure about what’s coming up next, and all you have to go on is hope and a promise. As I stand still, my mind is rushing ahead and already imagines the race half run while my heart dreads the task set to it. Are you sure?, it asks, You don’t really need to do this. The reluctant heart always surrenders to the mind in some expected yet surprising moment of weakness, and slowly but surely, I move forward.

In a few minutes warm blood is coursing through my veins, and my feet and heart are glad to be doing what they are meant to do. Things start to click as I find my rhythm and settle into the comfortable routine of the run. I think light, fast thoughts. My heart beats a steady tattoo, my feet touch the pavement noiselessly and lift off in an instant, as if they wish not to run, but fly. I crest a tiny hillock and my once-reluctant heart urges faster. The sun warms as the breeze cools, in this moment I feel like I could run forever.

I’m running on familiar ground, and nothing seems out of the ordinary. The only people out on a Saturday morning are other runners and troops of cyclists. I spot someone jogging up the pavement towards me, her face covered in sweat and her eyes grim in concentration. She’s looking straight ahead, not at me but through me – a look that every runner wears at some point, a look that says she is going to see the race through. She gets closer and we both automatically drift to opposite edges of the track. We give each other way to pass with a smile and a wave, two people who were and will be strangers, our lives connected for brief instant by a shared 4 feet of pavement.

That brief instant is the only interaction with people I have on most runs, and that might be why I like running more than any other activity. Being alone is not unpleasant for me, and at the core of it running is as solitary an activity as could be. I rarely run with other people, and even when I do, running tends to be a personal conversation between me and the road. Other runners will run up against me, pass me by when I’m slower, or give me way when I’m faster, but I’m always my only adversary. I’m the only person I’m trying to beat, and each additional step is a victory against myself.

In a sense, the whole run always passes like a dream. Just like you don’t remember your dreams when you wake up, I hardly ever remember what I was thinking about during a run. Sometimes I convert miles to kilometers, or speed to pace, or just divide numbers to keep myself distracted. That usually doesn’t work for long, and my mind drifts to whatever is catching its fancy that day. Sometimes I think about the weather, sometimes I think about how comfortable long sleeves are, and sometimes a song I haven’t heard for a while comes on and I think about that. But mostly, in a Forrest Gump kind of way, I just run.

I turn onto a steep uphill road, and something inside me becomes wary. This is too steep – this wasn’t in the deal. Too late to turn back, I begin the slow march upwards, and a good eight minutes later I crest the hill. Inside my mind victorious tunes from Rocky and Chariots of Fire are playing to commemorate the climb. A pretty girl on a bicycle compliments me on my funny looking shoes, and I am sadly a little too short for breath to give a witty response. The steep climb was worth it – from this vantage point I have the Pacific Ocean to my left, and grassy canyons to my right.

I am still panting from the effort on the hill, and as if to give me a reward, a cool wind comes in from over the ocean. I still have 4 miles to go, but with the warm sun, an ocean breeze and a view to die for, I am a happier man with every step.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    yey…welcome back doak

  2. Ishani Ahuja
    March 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    me likes! 🙂

  3. GAURAV LODHA
    March 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Welcome back!

  4. Gaurav Lodha
    March 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Apologies for the capital letters!

  5. phoenix
    April 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Sometimes, I read your words over and over again and they feel like a whole new, different, beautiful world. And then before I know it, I have fallen in love with the rhythm of the words, with the soul of their imagery, with the feeling of being alive inside a paragraph, with your strange, twisted, stubborn, loving mind. And with you.
    Sometimes, you write from a place of magic.

  6. May 3, 2011 at 3:22 am

    “…my feet touch the pavement noiselessly and lift off in an instant, as if they wish not to run, but fly.”

    I second Taru.

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