In spite of the fact that I’ve pretty much spent the past year and a half getting out of bed and running 5 miles or so every morning by 9, the getting up and at ‘em doesn’t ever seem to get any easier. Neither do the miles, either, though some days are better than others.
In the past few months or so, whenever I find myself grumpy or getting cranky about, oh, any number of things—weather, aches and pains, time, lack of sleep, pick one—I try to remember to be grateful for the fact that I CAN run, that a number of forces in my life have conspired to bring me to this place where my mornings are mostly free, where I have my health, a place to live, friends with whom to run, no snakes, crocs, gators, or other poisonous or scary creatures with which to deal.
In short, life is pretty damn sweet and instead of grumbling about the minor details or petty annoyances, I need to just put one foot in front of the other and get on with my run. When it rains, I try to be grateful that we didn’t have 18 feet of snow this winter; when it’s hot, I’m grateful that it rarely gets above 75. When it snows, I’m grateful that we have so much water here in the PNW that I can have a long hot shower after my runs (present winter excluded—water rationing may be coming our way this summer).
If, on some morning I don’t feel like getting up and out there, I remind myself that for today, for this moment, I have legs and lungs and feet that all work. I have the ability to run a few miles and how much would it suck to miss my last opportunity to go for a great run? None of us know what tomorrow might bring or the next hour.
All I have to do is surf the interwebs for a few minutes to realize that life is precious and short and very difficult for so many people around the world. In some countries women can’t even run, let alone put on shorts and a tank top and drive themselves to a favorite trail. I am grateful I live in a place where I can occasionally take my freedoms for granted.
I have so much for which to be grateful—reciting my list to myself usually takes a mile or so and by then I’ve forgotten that I didn’t want to get up and out there. I’ve found my rhythm and my pace, and I’m glad to be there.