To me, running is like a deep well. It’s a source that I can tap on, over and over. As long as I take care not to drink too fast, it isn’t going to run dry anytime soon. It fills me up and replenishes me, and I feel whole again after I sip from it.
Early in the mornings, I fight the urge to continue snuggling under my warm sheets. When I finally step out of my apartment onto the quiet streets, it feels like I have the entire world to myself. Everyone else is still deep in sleep, holding tightly onto their last hour of shut-eye.
I start off at a gentle pace, winding through peaceful residential neighborhoods and arriving at the trails of a nearby park before the incessant buzz of car engines has a chance to surround me.
It’s a rare peaceful time, a moment I cherish deeply. I may struggle to catch my breath as I tackle steep sections or increase my pace, but beneath the pain is an understated joy that’s as pure as the unsullied morning.
After a hard day at work, I’m exhausted. My mind is swirling, it’s getting late, and the streets are busy with peak-hour traffic. It’s tough to summon up even the will to change into my running shorts.
But I try to, because I know it’ll get better as soon as I start. True enough, as I power through the hills and miles, all my problems seem increasingly insignificant and trivial. I disengage completely, unable to think about anything except the pain that floods my body. I want to stop, but I also want to keep going.
At this point, my mind is singularly focused on the pain, but it’s also as clear as the surface of a deep well. I no longer have the capacity to think about the problems that were swirling in my head only minutes ago. Surprisingly, this is when answers to them start emerging. They were there all along, if only I cared to stop and drink from my well.