It was supposed to be a five kilometer or so run. Eighteen kilometers later I was back at the hotel. Over three weeks on the road brought me back again to Toronto and at this point I’m more than ready to be home. Home in the mountains where the trails begin when I step out the door of the house. Not here in the big city surrounded by concrete castles rising high into the sky. Not here where even if you do access green space, the incessant noise proves inescapable.
The run today was more for my head than my heart, legs or lungs. It was all I could do to get myself out the door of the big hotel on the waterfront. I was tired and not wanting to move. Even a heavy dose of coffee couldn’t wake me up. It was a forced exit. Days like these I miss the regime of ‘having’ to train. I miss the group of teammates and coach waiting for me. Now as a recreational athlete, it’s all up to me. Me getting out and running matters to nobody and really means nothing. Except for what it means and does for me. And that is a whole lot.
Which is why I got myself out the door. Why I forced that exit. Just like every other day that I get out and run, I know, yes I KNOW that I will come back transformed. I’ll come back tired, sometimes even cross-eyed with hunger and fatigue. It’s all worth it because there is a transformation that happens.
This movement thing, there’s something to it. It is my medicine and it’s a powerful drug.
When I took those first steps this morning I felt an immediate shift. Fatigue and lethargy turned to a sense of energy beginning to flow. The more I ran, the better I felt. What to do but keep on running. Running and exploring. Looking for a new path or trail that makes being in this massive metropolis a little bit more tolerable to my senses.
No, I was not able to escape the noise. But the short run that turned longer brought me to some green space. Led me to some trails in the forest along the Don Valley Parkway. Allowed me to run on the leaf covered paths up and down the forested hills. Led me to the feeling of being a kid or a wild animal sprinting through the woods. Made me smile and laugh to myself.
Which is why I say again and again, movement is indeed the medicine I need. My daily dose is a run or a walk and it never fails to shift the chemicals that are blocked or flowing out of balance. Makes my spirit come alive and gives me the energy I bring into each encounter the day ahead holds.
Best of all? It’s free. The only cost is finding the time to make the first step. You have to do it for yourself because like I mentioned, it matters to nobody but you (or in my case, me). It’s the best gift a person can give because it literally keeps on giving. Giving in terms of that energy you share with people in your work, school, home, sport, family and life.
I move therefore I am. Just as I like it to be.