Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Road Work

Saturday morning 'NTSG dawned sunny, bright and a tad on the unseasonable end of the warmth scale.  It was fitting perhaps that the Yankees and the Orioles did not commence their ALDS hostilities until the following day.  Whereas Saturday the 6th had a late Spring/early Summer vibe, around these parts Sunday the 7th was Autumnal from head to toe. 

After having participated in the 14th Annual Run/Walk for Mom at Nomahegan Park in Cranford as a proud member of the New Jersey chapter of Sue's Crew IV (this year much like ZZ Top we were bad and nationwide), I went for a run early Sunday morning all by myself.  The sun was rising as I started my trek through the still, quiet streets of my little town.  One of the great joys associated with being an agnostic is that the local church's Mass schedule has zero impact on my running schedule.  I sped past the premises as what I presumed to be the first flock of the day filed in for their fleecing.   

Sunday morning was the first time since the Winter of '12 that I found it necessary to wear my sporty, yet practical (it is reversible) CU Buffaloes knit cap.  Happiness is warm feet.  Best way I know of to keep my feet and legs warm when I run is to have my oversized melon covered up by a hat.  In view of the fact that I steadfastly refuse to run wearing long pants - and in fact ran Sunday morning wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of shorts, my hat is not a fashion statement but a thermal necessity.  The fact that it is mad sporty is a bonus.

I do not compete in nearly as many races as I did a couple of years ago when I first took up running.  Back then I ran almost solely to compete.  Now I run almost exclusively to achieve peace.  Experience has taught me that peace is far more readily accessible when I am not concerned with things such as the location of the next water stop. 

These are pretty heady days in our family.  We are less than eleven months away from Ryan/Suzanne's wedding.  I am reminded every day by both the Missus and the soon-to-be Missus just how much planning goes into such an event.  Mercifully for all concerned, my principal involvement appears to be limited to locating the dotted line upon which to sign.   It seems to me that this is precisely as it should be.  Planning for such a great event should be entrusted to those who have the skill set to pull it off.  Such an individual bears little resemblance at all to the perpetually perplexed soul whose reflection I see in the mirror each morning. 

Running - not racing - affords me the chance to slow down the world around me even if just for a little while.  I am a man who is now - as  I have always been - in great need of assistance in that regard.  Sunday morning as I ran through my little town a film clip of my life unfurled in my mind's eye.  In it Suzanne and Rob are both children.  Of course, neither has been a child for longer than I would care to admit. 

It is an admission I am hesitant to make not because it reminds me of a time when the dominant color of my beard was something other than gray.  It is an admission I am hesitant to make because it reminds me of how much of their childhoods I missed.  One would have to be far fleeter afoot than I am to recapture even a small fraction of that time.   I am not the smartest man in the world yet even I know better than to waste energy on a fool's errand. 

A man much wiser than I once observed that a correlation exists between love and the length of the road on which one travels.  I have many miles left to cover.  As long as - at journey's end - the path I am on leads me home, it shall be a peaceful trip. 

-AK


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