I have been waiting this whole long, hard, bitterly cold winter for a week like this one.
Glorious sunshine; runner highs; fresh air without freezing; lungs and legs burning; sweaty face; long runs alone; soul-searching; heavy heart turned light again; sun-kissed cheeks.
Running for the first few times outside after not running for a long winter is like quenching this undeniable thirst; it's like drinking a tall, cool glass of water after being stranded in the dry, hot desert for days (I can only imagine).
Not running is so much harder than running. Not being able to do something that you love; that is a part of your being, your spirit, your soul, it's something I don't often take for granted. And while every run isn't perfect, it's so much better than NOT running.
Every time I lace up my shoes, I get excited. I get to go running. I get to be alone with my thoughts and my music and the sounds of nature; I get to sweat and my muscles get to burn; I get to run free and wild and feel amazing afterward. I get to feel whole and healed and not so crazy afterward. I get to feel this joy and happiness that sometimes eludes me in the dark, cold, gray days of winter. And sometimes, I get to push a growing toddler in a stroller and get one heck of a workout.
I have a few happy places, and running is one of them.
And winter? You can go suck it. See you next year.