Sunday, September 5, 2010

Always Look on the Bright Side of Your Life

This morning I woke up, albeit a wee bit later than usual thanks to a long, late night, hard fought Trivial Pursuit, to do my usual Sunday morning tempo run.  And to be honest and truthful, I had to spend a bit of time convincing myself out of bed, into my running clothes and out onto the mean streets of Calgary.  It was a grey, gloomy and chilly morning.  Admittedly, I'm much more motivated for a morning run when it's a beautiful, hot and sun-shiny day!

Anyhow, not only was it gloomy and chilly, it was raining.  Not too hard when I started, more like a gentle mist, but as the run progressed it rained harder, harder and harder.  And the last 20 minutes were spent in an outright deluge.  Ugh.  My shoes and socks were soaked and squishy, my hair was drenched and I had mud splattered all the way up the back of my legs.  And this is where the story begins...

Truthfully, for a moment, I was a bit annoyed at the rain and the weather and the mud.  And then I got to thinking...

I am RUNNING.  And on a Sunday morning after a great Saturday night spent with friends.  On one of my favourite running routes in Calgary.  With a full day off to look forward to.  And in spite of the rain, I just felt FANTASTIC.

So fantastic in fact, that I was running along with a huge smile on my face.  A massive smile.  I even started to giggle at one point.  I cruised by a fellow runner who actually commented that he had never seen someone running with such a big smile on their face, which, of course, caused me to smile an even bigger smile.

Why the smile, you ask?  Well, as I mentioned before, I got to thinking.

I was running.  Just because.  I went running because I wanted to and that was it.  Because I could...

I wasn't running away from bombs or guns or war.  Only because I'm fortuate enough to live in this spectacular place called Canada.  People in many, many places all over the world aren't so lucky.  They often spend their days running from bombs and guns in conflicts that have nothing to do with them.  How scary this is I cannot even imagine.

I wasn't running away from persecution based on my race, gender, or religious affiliation.  Freedom is a beautiful thing isn't it?

And while I'm on the topic of freedom, there I was, a woman, and I was running by myself...I didn't have to be escorted outside of my home into my community by my father, brother or husband.  Nor did I have to have every part of what makes me a woman covered because I can choose NOT to be covered if I don't want to be.  I don't think I can overstate that FREEDOM really is a beautiful thing, yes? 

I was not running in fear...of anyone or anything.  I feel safe running whenever and wherever I run. This simply is not the case for many people who live in places wrought with significant criminal activity.  Lucky me.

I was running because I have two legs that take me wherever I want to go whenever I ask them to.  My lungs and my heart and my bod serve me well each and every day; and believe me- I'm HARD on this bod!  Many, many people in this world simply don't have the benefit of good health.  I am so thankful for mine.

I was running on a Sunday morning because I had a day off...a day off to do whatever I please.  I have had the good fortune of an education and opportunities that afford me the ability to enjoy a day like this.  I know many others don't have the opportunity to run because their only focus is survival and the basics- food, shelter, water, making ends meet.  There simply isn't time in their lives for something as frivilous a run on a rainy Sunday morning.  Again- lucky me.

I was not running from my past.  Believe me, I've spent some time trying to outrun my past and it sure gets exhausting!  Those days are over, my friends.  I'm now going to accept my past as a part of who I am today.  I have made mistake- many of them-and I'll probably make many more, but I'm just a person doing the best I can with what I have.  Everyone has a story.  So rather than run from mine, I'm going to embrace it.  Give it a great big old hug if you will.  Today I just chose to run in the moment.  It wasn't about the past and I sure didn't worry about the future.  I just appreciated every little thing about my run in the rain.  I took it all in.  And I just had to smile. 

So?  Long weekend! Is everyone having a good one?  I'm sure people are camping, hiking, biking, running, swimming and are trying to squeeze in a last bit of summer despite the weather. Whatever you're out there doing...

I hope you're finding something to smile about!

1 comment:

Christine said...

You are so inspirational! I just read a very sad book "The God of Small Things" that deals with all of the female, race, cultural oppressions you are talking about. I am so glad that you take such a positive spin on our life here. I feel very lucky too! I have not run in a while and miss it terribly. Physio starts this week...