One foot in front of the other, pounding the pavement as I slowly pick up the pace going down the driveway. I can feel my legs start to tighten up just slightly from having not stretched enough before taking off, but that just means I should turn right out of the driveway and do a quick lap of the circle to ensure I don’t cramp up. Depending on the day, there could be a dozen cars sitting in the circle from people enjoying my neighbor’s pool. The sounds muffled by my headphones ironically playing NPR or some news broadcast when you would think pounding rhythms would be a better choice.
That first few hundred yards are always the most difficult. Do I really want to do the hills that come next, or would the treadmill be a better place to get covered in sweat? I just push on, making that right turn and going down the hill and back up. My GPS on the phone will tell me later the elevation changes, how fast I ran them if I held back any from the last time we attempted this route. 2.5 miles is about one lap of the neighborhood, so we do at least two sometimes three! On a good day, my shorts are soaked through, my shirt like a second skin. If it’s colder, well I look like a robbery suspect you see on the news. Black mask over my face to protect it from the wind and cold.
For a while, when I could handle listening to music I had an album that was almost exactly 67 minutes long. Three laps and it would finish as I was heading back up the driveway. Sometimes I didn’t even realize the music had gotten to that point, did the phone lose it’s charge? Nope, just my brain taking in all of the sights and sounds around me. Kids playing in the yard, neighbors waving as they alternately drive past or were mowing their own grass. All of those “Mayberry Moments” people hope for when they buy a home. Not a house, but a place they call home.
I turn the cell service off when I run. No phone calls or text messages, no email or some other weird notification to break my strides. For that hour I am living in the stone age of communication. Leave me a message, I’ll get back to you. I even got to a point where I had a “I’m out running” voicemail.
The shoes are sitting in the corner, running is a bad idea right now. So I’ve taken up writing and found I can do that for two hours without noticing time pass. This blog is but one set of ideas, another rests in a notebook I feverishly have been writing a book of all things. Some of the pages are just scraps of ideas and other pages entire chapters. I don’t know if another person will ever see it, but it has been interesting writing it!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Zone.”