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Today I find myself sitting comfortably and peacefully alone, gazing out on a family of geese as they glide aimlessly upon the lake. The sound of distant traffic floats across the water, mixed with the cascading droplets of a water fountain adding to the serenity of the afternoon scene. It is a rare cool day in August, one that must be spent outdoors and not locked away in the confines of artificial light and stale, processed air. It is a day that begs to be enjoyed, to be experienced, to be explored. In other words, it is a day that was built for running.
My life over the past few months has been quiet uneventful. As the summer began and I found myself in the same living situation that I swore would only last a year, my overall enthusiasm for life quickly faded. Having suffered a lower back injury in May which lingered on and on, I could not even count on my one usual escapism to bring me up from the depths of dark despair to find the joy in a summer spent at the shore. The routine of daily life, with its commutes and cubicle dwellings has been weighing me down. I was not built for this; none of us was built for the office life.
I am not sure if it something I was born with or if it was something that I discovered along the way, but at my core I have a deep longing to be outdoors at all hours of all days. The feel of the sun against my skin, the wind against my face, and the grass beneath my feet give me a sense of being free. I am at my most zen when I am surrounded by the sights and sounds of the natural world that surrounds us. Sadly it is often rare in my day-to-day life that I have the time to enjoy such things. The demands on my time as a provider, a husband, a father, a man often leave me with little to no time to find my “happy place.”
Where am I going with this?
In part this is simply an exercise in writing, an attempt to get the creative juices flowing again and to motivate me to refocus some of my free time and energy on blogging again. As I am sure you have noticed I have been far removed from posting new content as of late. My motivations to write have been like a vapor in the wind: intensely there one moment, gone without a trace the next.
I also share this so that you can know that my life is not all amazing runs and happy times spent making memories with my wife and son (and son on the way). I do have amazing runs, I do make amazing memories with my family, and I am beyond grateful for the people I have in my life who love me and care about me in ways I know I do not deserve. I am, above all, however, just a guy who oftentimes struggles to find the balance of work, family, running, blogging, and all my other interests as well. I am, like countless others, someone who fights a constant battle between the high expectations I have for my life and the deep cutting disappointments when those expectations are not met.
I am, in a word, conflicted.
Thankfully, however, I am blessed like so many of you out there with not only the ability, but the desire, to run. Running in many ways sets me free: free from my emotional turmoil, free from my mental stresses, free from the burdens of ever day life. When I run, in that moment, nothing else matters.
So I am thankful for today: thankful that I can and will run, thankful for the joy it will bring me, and thankful that through that running I will be able to escape, if only for a few miles, the burdens of being me.