Monday, June 4, 2012

Wants and Needs

Inasmuch as Memorial Day weekend here in the State of Concrete Gardens had very much of a mid-July feel to it - in terms of both the temperature and the humidity - I presume that you were as surprised as I was that June's first weekend here in Chris Christie's playground felt far more like late Spring than mid-Summer. Given that we are firmly entrenched in the season that those of us who run here in New Jersey know shall challenge us more physically than any other time of the year, you can imagine my surprise at being able to enjoy outdoor runs both on Saturday afternoon and early on Sunday morning.

When you are one who runs, the weather becomes something you push into the back of your mind. For once you have decided to embark on that day's journey, it is the run that commands your attention. Sure you pay attention to the effect that the conditions have on your body - be it the harsh cold of January or the often-stifling heat of early August - but when you live 'round here and you run you know that less than ideal conditions await you far more often than not. It comes with the territory. You simply deal with it. If you cannot stand the environment then take up an outlet that allows for more hands-on climate control. Embroidery leaps to the mind's forefront. Perhaps you can crochet me a couple of bananas so I can shoot myself? I digress.

Learning to expect the worst only heightens the pleasure associated with being able to run in conditions such as those that were present this past weekend. I suppose that people run for any number of reasons. I run because - well because I have to. Running provides me the cathartic relief and release that writing does. It is time-consuming, exhausting and on occasion painful. Yet it is something I need to do. It is, exactly like writing is for me, an entirely selfish endeavor. Whether anyone else ever gets anything out of my participation in it I know not. Yet because I do I not only want to keep doing it. I need to.

I recognize the fact that there are people who more days than not read what is written here. Undoubtedly there are days when those of you who read what appears here wonder aloud why what is written here is here at all. Simple. It is here because I want it to be here. Nothing more. Nothing less. At day's end this space exists because I need it to. I run for exactly the same reason - because I need the 'whatever' running provides. I feel better when I do it than I feel when I do not.

And when Mother Nature gives me a couple of simply beautiful days in which to do it back-to-back as she did this weekend? Well, then I feel even better still.

-AK

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