Friday, April 19, 2013

A river runs through it

The wind. The rain. It just doesn't seem to stop.

The basement is taking on water. Large sections of the greenway are closed. The streets have small rushing rivers on the berms as the sewers struggle to manage the incoming water.

And somewhere, in all of this, my motivation to run - to do anything, really - has been swept away like a piece of debris in the rapid. I struggle to get up with the alarm, this morning just turning it off before it could sound, and fighting myself every step of the way to get out of the door. In complete honesty, I'm not sure I would have run at all this week had it not been for Boston. Monday, I was swept in the excitement of the event and convinced myself that I couldn't not run on such a big day in our community. My outings Tuesday and Wednesday were in honor of those who couldn't run.

This morning, though, it took pure grit and a refusal to not meet the goals of my plan - and those for myself - to get me out on the road.

I dropped off Miles at my mother-in-law's house a smidge early, giving me enough time to log the easy 3-5 miles on my plan (I had my mind set on 5). I spent the first half-mile bemoaning the fact that it was going to be windy and my attire, while appropriate, was ridiculous for late April - short-sleeve tech shirt, arm warmers, windbreaker, capris and head band. But once I gave into the realities of the day, I settled into a rhythm and found myself amending my route to take in the views of the palacial homes that neighbor the park.

I did my best to keep an even pace when I could and reminded myself not to fight the wind as I am no match for 25 mph gusts. Twigs ... branches ... limbs were dodged, serving as constant reminders of such a tumultuous week. The river menacingly encroached on safe sections of my path, the currents of a usually calm body of water moving briskly. Yet I trucked along, reveling in how a beautiful run had risen from such misery - the conditions and my own internal demons.

Until I was stopped in my tracks. Quite literally.

I was less than a half-mile from the park exit and about a mile from my car when my feet first splashed through the waters on Park Drive. A few feet ahead, I noticed workers sandbagging the club house. We made eye contact, and I could see the guys chuckle. They started to paddle with their hands. And I looked forward. Up ahead, the safe area, was gushing with water. There was no way to tell how deep it was or how fast it was moving.

I stopped. I pondered. I could go through it, christening my new Brooks Ravennas, and run a mile in soggy socks. I could also backtrack and add 2 miles to my route. Neither option was particularly appealing but the workers strongly advised against running through the flooding.

And so I turned around, retracing my steps along the path. It was eerily empty. Quiet. I wondered why I hadn't noticed this earlier but resisted the urge to get frustrated. If anything, I was thankful to be in the shape I'm in and that 2 miles will not break me.

As I made my way back, I was struck by something else. The grass it was green - lusciously green - and much more vibrant than during last year's ridiculously dry, hot summer. Yellow daffodils created bright borders along manicured lawns. White blooms dotted the tips of dogwood trees. This world, it was alive.

And so was I. Despite everything around me - the news of the world, the rapidly incurring damage, the never-ending winter, an overwhelming sense that I'm in over my head with new endeavors - I was making it through. One step at a time.


  1. This post is beautiful. Just like you. Just wanted you to know that.


  2. sounds like quite the run! It is wonderful to notice the beauty around like vibrant colors.

  3. Yes, we are all alive and I'm glad you decided to run and not swim. Stay safe, my friend.

  4. Love your perspective...great way to look at it! :0)

  5. beautiful post! i loved it. great job and great perspective.