Thursday, March 10, 2011

Silent Running

204 lbs. Goodbye 205, it was nice knowing you but perhaps we'll meet just one last time. You never know.


I can remember the day I fell in love with running and the feeling it gave me. I was 16 years old and it was a cold February. In my head, the only thing I could think to do that afternoon was to go running in a snow storm. Adolescent minds have the luxury of seeking out the new that an older mind does not. As an adult, when we have done or seen something different we tend to categorize and dismiss it all away for its lack of originality. We've seen it all before or tell ourselves we have without taking the time to actually realize that everything can be new if you know how to look at it.

That day in February, black skeletal trees held up a gun metal gray sky while large white snowflakes created visual static. My running shoes were hushed by fresh powdery snow as I flew into the monochrome world. Without thinking, I dashed into the woods off of the road near my house, turning one direction and then the next like a startled rabbit. My breath pushed little momentary clouds before me.

The towering bones of dead trees stood watch as I jumped and dodged my way toward a hard frozen crooked line of ice where once was a creek. The white blanketing the broken and tangled remains of the forest dead swallowed every sound I made as I seemed to float forward into the gray.

All time was compressed or lost, I ran along the banks of the creek until I emerged from the forest gloom and reached the edge of my little town. I turned toward the road and followed it past empty field upon empty field where only wind breaks occasionally drew thin crooked pencil lines across the empty void that stretched out before me. Soon the snow increased and the sky darkened further. I could have run into the nothing and disappeared forever but better judgment took hold and I turned heel for home.

Once I got back to my house, I immediately went to my room to lay down. As I fell back on my covers, I swore for a brief moment I had glimpsed the mind of God. I felt warm and secure and at peace, a feeling that has eluded me ever since. I could brush it off as a runner's high from endorphins flooding into my brain from two hours of running in the cold but it was something distinctly different. It was almost as if this were to be a demarcation line between my life as a child and my life as man. That evening I didn't say a word at dinner but went back to my bed and tried to contemplate it all and perhaps steal another glimpse of eternity. I quietly fell asleep and drifted into the future.

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