When You Give Up, You Get Where You Want To Go

This morning, by the grace of God, I woke up at 7am for a 15 km run.  Just waking up was a feat in itself, after the 12 hour shift I pulled at work yesterday.  The run took me 1 hour and 30 minutes, and by the end of it I collapsed on my front porch (half because I'm hardcore, the other half because of possible heat stroke).  It's been a while since I could run confidently for long distances; my knee has been seizing up sporadically since last year and causing me a great deal of pain and frustration.  Recently, I discovered that although my problem is partly hereditary, I have been hyperextending my knee and therefore, had to be mindful of the way I run in the future.  Ever since I have been doing this, I've been enjoying frequent long runs that I had missed for so long, and loving every moment of getting from point A to point B on my own two feet.

Five out of seven days this week, I checked out of my own thought process and checked into the "zone" - a place of serenity, determination, short term goals, and wanting to throw up on the side of the road then hitchhike back home with a stranger.  It's one of my favourite "places".

I ran around Ramerville, down McCowan toward Markville Shopping Center, and then decided that I wanted to get to Unionville Main Street.  As I passed the mall, Unionville Main Street was looking a little bleak.  It was far on foot, the sun was beating down on me as I ran beside the busy main road, and the fork in the road I approached seemed to be a more appealing route, although I had no idea where it led.  I said that I'd get to Main Street another day, but today I was going to explore the neighbourhood instead.  The path I chose was scenic and calm - a chunk of nature smack dab in the middle of the city.  I ran haphazardly, but making sure to carry on Westward so the sun didn't fry me before I could get some water.  Eventually I came out to a street and stood perplexed.  I didn't know where I was.  Then all of a sudden a car pulled up in front of me, and the man inside asked me where the Starbucks on Main Street was.  I looked from side to side.  Holy! I made it to Main Street!  I smiled, told him where it was, pointed to my right, and continued to run.  Later, on my cool-down walk through my own neighbourhood forest, I paused, and saw a family of galloping dear pass right in front of me.   That's something you don't see everyday.

Experiencing things like this remind me that life doesn't always have to be so structured by routes; my impulse spontaneity took me exactly where I wanted to be, in a way that I can look back and fully appreciate the journey (however small a victory it was).  It took me down a path somewhere that I wasn't familiar with, and gave me exactly what I didn't know I needed.  Sometimes all we need to move forward to where we want to be is to stop striving so hard, enjoy the scenic route, and let your feet take you're mind where it wants to go.

Arianne TongComment