I rose easily this morning. As I opened my eyes I looked toward the window. My eyes told my brain it was light and my brain told me it was still early. A thought raced through my head and a quiet voice followed, “You need to verify the correct time.” I reached for my glasses and slipped them onto their perch. I raised my head and turned toward the clock. It was 6:39 AM. I let out a sigh. My body is accustomed to rising early but I had hoped for at least another 90-minutes of rest before I left the comfort of my bed ready to take on the world.
I removed my glasses and returned them to their resting position they had assumed throughout the night on my night stand. I rotated my pillow, slipped my left hand underneath and lowered my head. As my head came to rest, I realized I felt a faint but comfortable pressure on my lower back. I raised my right hand and reached around behind me only to discover my dog Jack laying beside me. I stroked his head and began to relax; the anxiety of rising early melted away.
As I lay in bed my attention was drawn to the noise outside my window. The first realization was the lack of rain. The second was the accompanying song of the birds which live in the tree a mere few feet from my window. I found the symphony as relaxing as a piece orchestrated by Beethoven himself. The lullaby caused my eyes to feel heavy and within minutes sleep found me again.
I woke again 90-minutes later feeling overjoyed that I again had found sleep. As the owner of two jobs, the idea of “sleeping in” is a luxury to which I am unaccustomed.
I lay in bed this time continuing to listen to the ongoing symphony. This time the musical interlude was accompanied by another familiar note; the automobile. The manmade sounds of the car and the natural sounds orchestrated by Mother Nature are two sounds which should never be allowed to mix. My thoughts began to drift toward my running route. The heavy, consistent rain over the last three days would force me to navigate small lakes on some of the surrounding streets and sidewalks. These lakes would force me to share busy stretches of road, even briefly with my arch nemesis; the automobile. Reconfiguring a new route was easy.
As I continued to be entertained by the sounds of Mother Nature I was reminded why I seldom wear headphones when I run outdoors. I enjoy this wonderful distraction. When I am beginning to feel tired and the stretch of road on which I am running seems to go on forever, I hit the search button and allow my mind to look for an acceptable distraction. Mother Nature once again becomes my accompanist. The road seems to shorten, my legs feel less tired, my breath becomes more rhythmic and the familiar spring returns to my step.
My watch has a built-in GPS. Seldom do I look at the distance, the exception are these days; the days I am on a long run. An audible beep clicked off the miles but my head pays little attention and the acknowledgement is quickly forgotten. The distance I run is dependent on how I feel, tempered with the knowledge an over use injury could be around the corner.
If I miss this street sign the next one glaring in front of me will read, “Stop!”
The rain stopped.