There is this point during each and every run I head out on where the wide open calm in my mind is suddenly filled with thoughts and feelings crashing into one another and crowding in to the clear space that was just there.
The first time it took by surprise. As did the second, third and, well even now. Even today, this moment took me by surprise. I’m running along already having worked through whatever craziness was in my head at the beginning of my run and I’m calmly listening to whatever music or book is playing in my ears and taking in the sights around me when about two-thirds of the way through my run I’m suddenly thinking thoughts that bring about a bit of tightness in my chest. And it’s amazing. It’s the most wonderful amazing thing.
So many things clutter my thoughts every day. Running has given me a way to work through everything. My runs are like mini organizing sessions for my thoughts and feelings. Once I take the time to process all the things rattling around my brain there is so much free space. After I clear away all the stress, organizing thoughts and to do lists, dusting off and putting away my everyday frustrations and worries I get some time to get comfortable with all the mental space left behind. The space doesn’t stick around long though. Just as I’m really feeling the freedom and lightness of a clear head and getting ready to really sink into the last third of my run the space suddenly fills up as if a dam in the corner of my thoughts broke loose and sent a tidal wave of emotion over me. And it’s amazing. It’s the most wonderful amazing thing.
In that moment I’m filled with so much gratitude I could burst. I’m unabashedly thankful, and happy, and so so grateful. I think of my husband and daughters, friends and family. The amazing life I live. I think of my health and the health of those I love. I’m grateful I can run and that I am running. I think of all the time my family gives to make it possible for me to reach my goals. I think of the opportunities my girls have. The truly endless possibilities that lay at their feet. And it’s amazing. It’s the most wonderful amazing thing.
I’m not sure why this moment rolls over me at nearly the same point in nearly every run regardless of distance or length, but it does. Some people might run for the runner’s high, but I run for the gratitude high. And it’s amazing. It’s the most wonderful amazing thing.