Falling in Love (Part 3)

Monday, October 27, 2008

I could not tell the exact moment it happened, but I felt love slowly working its magic on me. It was a series of small steps and nudges. Crossing the bridge was symbolic - I was walking away from a path characterized by measured distance, defined pace, regimented training plan and determined quest to reach particular numbers. On the other side of the creek was freedom, adventure and the thrill of discovery.

In the first few strides, I began to notice the halloween trappings. I appreciated the colors, creativity and the effort of the residents to have fun for themselves and others. As I ran further I noticed the househelps' merry banter as they swept fallen leaves and washed vehicles. I watched young children played soccer. I turned and ran where my heart led me. At times I felt I was lost, but that only added to the excitement I was feeling. I would encounter random cyclists, and a man walking with a beautiful yellow lab. The man shyly greeted me, but I was lost in my own thoughts to reciprocate the greeting. I realised my lapse as I made my turn, but privately I promised to be more attuned to my surroundings as I run.

Under the shade of trees I realised I was running at my relaxed and steady pace. At this pace, my heart, lungs and legs quietly hum and do their job, while my mind is free to wonder. I was running and loving it. I was in love and that love is pure. The feeling was so good I did not want to stop. I wanted to prolong the euphoria and etch it forever in my memory. It was during those precious minutes of pure bliss that I composed in my mind what would become a three-part series.

I saw a Great Dane and my mind chuckled at memory of clipping a customer Dane's huge nails, with his humongous head and drooling mouth inches away from my face. Underneath that scary size is a goofy and gentle dog. I saw a merry mixed-breed loudly barking at me through the steel gates and I pleasantly wondered if it was a Spitz-Lab mix. I saw bikes hanging up-side-down from the ceiling and I pondered if this was the proper way to store them. I saw antiques being delivered, swimming pools behind fences, kids coming out to play and men casually talking. I saw many things and I reacted positively toward them.

I was reminded of my upcoming 25K race in Clark and I said to myself this is how I want to run that race. I wanted it to be 25 kilometers of bliss, of fond memories and cheerful thoughts. For the most part, running is a solitary activity, but in races runners come together bound by a common love. On the 25km of hot, cemented roads of Clark, I want to be part of a human race. From the wellspring of that common love I would drink the fluid that will sustain me. I shall draw strength from every runner. If for any reason I lag behind and my will power wanes, I will look back to that Saturday morning run in a secluded village when I fell in love with running. I love running for its simplicity. I love her for her power to lead me to roads less travelled and her ability to teleport me into faraway places, even the coves and lagoons of my memory. I love her for the pure sport that she is and for the transformative power that she represents.

As I wind down to have a drink and change of shirt, a guard greeted me and I greeted back enthusiatically. A passerby then smiled sheepishly at me and for a moment I wondered. I did not think that kind of person would smile to a stranger like me. Then it dawned on me: throughout the last minutes of my run, I must have been smiling genuinely. I was sincerely happy. I have found love and I do a bad job of hiding it.


Nora, the golden girl October 29, 2008 at 1:35 AM  

I see that you found your "Way back into Love". Smiling is a subtle way of showing it. Next time, you're free to scream!

Love is the greatest inspiration. I'm sure your 25k NB Power Race will be an unforgettable experience. Good luck!

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