Friday, August 24, 2012


I've been writing this post in my head for a long, long, LONG time!  Yes, you see, I've been at the lake!  All summer long, in fact, and for me this means: no computer, no internet and barely cell phone reception!  It certainly did not mean no running, of course, and as you can expect I've been hard at it: long runs in 30+ heat and humidity, intervals early in the morning so I don't perish in the summer hot, trail running right from my cottage at Trinity Bay (courtesy of by brother in law, Tee Dubs) and half marathon training with the best training partner a gal could ever ask for, ARJR.  Anyhow, I'm back.  Back to the city, back to the structure and routine of life, back to some serious training.  With the Marine Corps marathon looming in the not so distant future, I am on it!

Anyhow, I spent some time this summer thinking about freedom.  While I certainly do NOT take my beautiful Canadian freedom for granted and am grateful for it, the kind of freedom I'm referring to here is the sense of peace that occurs when you are able to free your mind from the business, craziness and stressfulness that everyday life can bring.  For some, like me, clearing thoughts and worries right out the mind is a seemingly impossible task.  I know it's supposed to happen at yoga, but for me, it most certainly does not, no matter how hard I may try (hearing my one of my fav yogis, Kathy in my head right now saying "try easy") or how much I want it.  Thankfully, running has become a form of moving meditation for me and the peace I feel in my mind and the happiness I feel in my heart can only be achieved by getting my feet into shoes and onto the pavement.  Bliss, every single time!

And then this summer, I made the most awesome discovery.

The same peace of mind I am able to achieve during a run can also be found night boating.

For those who have not had the pleasure of spending any length of time on the water, I was born and raised on the shores of an incredibly unique lake in Northern Ontario called Lake of the Woods.  I have been driving a boat for just about as long as I can remember.  My first boat was an awesome 14ft red aluminum vessel with a fabulous 4hp Evinrude.  Definitely not breaking any speed records, but it certainly got me to and from whomever I was visiting lake side!

Let's set the stage for this whole night boating thing:

Sunset at Trinity Bay, Lake of the Woods, KENORA
This is sunset.  Pre night boating if you will.  Magical, yes?  I sure think so.

Anyhow, driving a boat on a big lake in the pitch black of night is a surreal experience.  The only light is if there happens to be a bit of moonlight dancing on the water.  There are no signs, no speed limits, no noises, no anything, really.  Just the sound of the wind in your hair. You do need to have a general sense of where the heck you are going, since, even though its black, you are navigating reefs, rocks, channel markers, buoys, islands, mainland and other various hazards.  Every part of you is aware of where you are at during that particular moment...not where you are coming from or your destination, just that very moment.  I breathe in the summer humid air, notice the sound of the air swooshing by my ears and smile because I am so very fortunate to be able to be in that a boat...on a the dead of night. 

And the result?  A sense of calm, peace, gratitude and happiness that for me, can only be replicated (so far :) by putting one foot in front of the other, on the pavement, in running shoes.  Its difficult to put into words just exactly what this feels like, but if you've experienced it, you know.  And if you haven't, rest assured it is a very unique and individual experience; you WILL know when you get there, and will know exactly what I'm talking about.

Freedom.  It really, really is a beautiful thing.

1 comment:

Wendy M.Kurchak said...

So good to read your blog again - you write so beautifully. What amazes me is how we can find peace and freedom in unusual and unexpected events. You found it in a boat on a dark lake. ( I find it getting my foot on the dock and getting out of any boat).
Maybe the key is "in the moment" -being totally present in the moment, present frees us from past gak, and the worries of the future - we just 'are'.
Thanks for reminding me.
Welcome back.
Wendy Kurcha