Tuesday, March 10, 2020
It’s 11:30 PM, temperatures in the mid 30’s, Fahrenheit, and my right toe aching. I’m four miles from home and my Powerbeats3 earphones shut off. I believe they don’t operate near freezing temperatures. I hadn’t even heard my favorite song yet, so the remainder of my run is me speaking poetic mantras to keep from calling an Uber home.
At first, by the time I hit a main road I begin to question my decision to start this run across town. By the way, in the moments typing this I still don’t know how many miles I ran last night beneath the Supermoon. Beginning from home, my plan was to catch the MAX to Lloyd Center and run downtown through the waterfront then back home–but I missed it. I first run and dance a few miles until getting closer to a MAX station where I could conveniently catch it.
Three stops later I hop on the train, get off at the mall, and run. Through Tom McCall Waterfront Park my head spun in doubt thinking I’ve ventured too far. But I had no choice. While crossing the Hawthorne Bridge I couldn’t feel my fingers. Through meditation I pushed on and found songs to jam to.
It’s what I do on my runs.
When my headphones went out I told myself just speak in solace. I spent all of Monday in silence; I didn’t listen to music, watch TV, click on a social media app, instead I read and meditated. Embracing the sound of cars driving by and people enjoying themselves at bars, this was my vehicle to keep on. Along with the air’s brisk up my nose, this was life!
During my most excruciating runs the one thing I told the doubter within, “we’ve been here before, just focus on the next step…” What awaits on the other side is a hot bath, a warm bed, Chocolate SoyMilk, and Starburst.
It’s the only time I allow myself to eat that shit… Last time it was a Snickers–SO GOOD!
At one point I had to walk. And so, here’s the break in this blog post where I find out how far I ran.
From home I ran 3.42 miles to a MAX station. After getting off at Lloyd Center I ran across the Steel Bridge to the Waterfront and back into SE Portland. At the 4.82 mark of this part in the run my headphones went out. With 3.6 miles left I ran to the chant of my own voice.
My total was 11.93; second best since my 13.1 mile run in December.
The cutting windchill brought thoughts sounding like, “did I bite off too much this time?”, “what’s the reward for such a late-night chilling run?”
After mile 8 my body told me to stop. Maybe the reward is that a break is permitted with no consequence? And boy was I freezing and upset. I just wanted warmth and comfort in mind.
Walking up Foster Road I look left and right. Many homeless lie bundled up sleeping through the night. What’s it mean to say I care when I can’t even help myself these days? In other words, do we put ourselves in positions we think we’ll conquer with ease?
Is the reward survival? They’d likely kill for what’s on the other side of my run…
The running beast within said let’s get this shit done with, and on I ran. Approaching my home street, I see a transient in his car. With his backseat full of stuff, I’m sure it was his home. My last mantra was, “let’s pray for this man, for I am OK…”
But maybe he was too. I’m sure last night wasn’t his first night sleeping in his car. Last night wasn’t my first run in doubt after starting from a place so far.
In conclusion, today, a Tuesday, I woke up asking myself, “why?” Like the road less traveled in self-publishing, and writing through a spiritual journey amongst modern society and culture, did I bite off more than I can chew?
My best answer so far is that if I can take the next breath, next step, and feel compassion, that’s my reward. It’s a cold and lonely world village out there–compassion for it starts within ourselves.
With every moment you breathe comes an opportunity to add kindness. Don’t think of others–they’re likely not thinking of you. Start within and grow within.
For those who judge seek a win in a cold and lonely world village.