The pavement has been calling to me for quite some time now. It taunts me as I trudge aimlessly downstairs to my basement, preparing for another run on the dreaded treadmill. Icy roads covered in patches of thick blackness, and mounds of snow that hide potentially harmful areas that could really injure me if I’m not careful.
Don’t get me wrong; treadmills have their place. Do I want to risk running outside and potentially fall on my ass, breaking something? Or, will I suck it up and use the treadmill?
This morning though, I decided to test the waters. I’ve been really anxious about it. Our driveway is covered in patches of ice. But, the weather has warmed up a bit. I threw caution to the wind, and put on layer after layer of clothing. I wore a heavy sweatshirt hoodie, and a winter hat under that. I wrapped a soft white scarf around my face, to help with my breathing. I layered my face with petroleum jelly, just in case. Gloves for my hands.
Walking out to the street was a little precarious. I’m clumsy by nature, so I almost biffed it a few times. I started to walk slowly, and I made my way to the street. Starting to lightly jog, I had to really watch my footing. Lots of ice, lots of snow along the sidewalks. I had to walk a few times. I glanced over to the middle of the road, and noticed there was no ice or snow there.
That’s where I ended up for my 3 mile run this morning. Right in the middle of the road. Amazingly, there were no cars, no traffic. At 7 this morning, it was dead silence. Barely any wind. I started to get overheated with all my layers. It was gorgeous out. I felt so free and amazingly ALIVE.
On my way home, I noticed a family of deer walking across the street ahead of me. They were cautious and quiet, and I stopped to allow them passage to the other side of the road, to continue on to the forested area next to the street. They didn’t seem alarmed or scared by me. They looked at me as though I was just some bystander checking out the scene, and in essence I was.
Arriving home, I thought about my perceptions of my surroundings. For some time, I’ve seen the snow and ice as a huge obstacle. It’s all I see when I look out the window. But there is so much mixed in. Instead of focusing on the sidewalks, I moved to the middle of the road, the road less traveled, in a sense. It’s a little like life, isn’t it? If all we see is the bad stuff, we have a hard time seeing the good mixed in.
I really hope the weather cooperates for me again tomorrow. I would love to have a morning run like that again!