New Running Attitude – Enjoy Time

 

Many years ago, when I was still a 9-to-5 corporate Joe, I took 3 weeks off. I had no grand plan to travel or do anything specific. Every day, I woke up, drank a cup of coffee, then it was out the door for some exercise. Running, swimming, hiking, go to the gym…no goals. Just needed some time off from office monotony.

 

One fine morning running along the river, I was staring at Mt. Guangyin and spacing out as usual.

“I see this mountain all the time, but I’ve never actually been there,” this thought popped into my head.

I had only planned to run about 10k, so I didn’t have my phone for navigation. But I figured that If I just keep running north up the river towards the mountain and follow the signs, I’ll get there. I’ve got the time. I crossed a bridge to the other side of the river and kept running until I arrived at the bottom of the mountain. I looked up the steep path and hesitated.

“This is where men separate from boys.”

So I ran up the road for a while, got bored with tarmac, and decided to cut into a trail. Up and down, turning left and right, I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t have a destination, so I couldn’t say I was lost. And it felt perfect for that day.

I didn’t summit and had no idea how far I ran. Eventually, I got tired and made my way down the mountain. I took a boat ride across the river to for some street food, then rode the subway home.

After two plus years of on-and-off remote work, shutdown of entertainment venues, and race cancellations, many of us found more free-time for me-time.Training also took a back seat. When I ran, I often thought about that one fine day.

I lingered more than usual at a peak or added the extra mile to stay outdoors a bit longer. No destination or a training purpose. Not efficient in terms of fitness gain but that was what I felt my running should be. I’m more grateful for my time with nature and running than ever before. Every second. Every stride. Every breath of fresh air.

I’m going to nowhere and I have all the time in the world to get there.

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