I arrived in the city about 8 this morning. I figured I would go to the fellowship and then run. I had a car full of running clothes. As I sat outside the fellowship, the north wind gently rocked my car. I thought I might cancel my long run because of the wind.
After the meeting, I was driving to the park. My mind itemized my clothes and my Gu and water and the wind. It struck me....how completely terrified I am of the long run. Not just this long run, but all of them. It struck me that every weekend, I fidget around worrying about weather and running locations and the like. Then, the door of my inner being opened and a light shone in my mind: I am terrified to be a human being period. It was awesome to ponder the depth and to want to explore further.
I got to the park. I didn’t know if I was doing my long run or not, but I put my water on the car and the Gu in my pockets and got started. I would run a lap and then see. The course is east-west, so its only half into the wind. You wouldn’t think it was that bad: 25F, sunny, wind at 20-30 mph.
My mind was still thinking about fear, and the totally of my life’s fear. I was exploring inward. That is the beauty of a long run on a flat dirt path that loops for 2.7 miles. There is plenty of time to think. I returned to my one single question: who is it that gets me out of bed in the morning since I am terrified of the world? I see people all around me, eating and watching TV and perhaps not getting out of bed. Here I am, not only out of bed but a marathoner doing a long run on a bitterly windy day.
I turn the corner and head into the wind for the second half of the loop. The wind, has switched from an embrace at my back to sharply probing gusts at my face. I am dressed perfectly except for my head. I have to pull the nylon up over my face. I feel the wind’s fingers trying to reach in and challenge the fear. I am a little whiney about it. I survive the first lap. I look in my car to see if the other face mask is in there. It is not, but I decide on another lap.
The second lap, the wind doesn’t seem to be bothering me. The third lap, I notice that there are 3 or 4 other runners doing the same as me, long runs. At that moment, a peace descends on me. The thought of us 3 or 4 runners patiently doing our long distance running in this little park seems utterly quiet and holy. The park is sandwiched between the Missouri River and a RR track and a busy road. The busy people in the cars are quickly scurrying to their next event. At least three of them get speeding tickets today. But there in anonymity are these 3 or 4 runners; together experiencing the secret and mystical world of long distance.
This picture is a microcosm of my life. I really am not going anywhere with my life. I do the daily deal in a circle; and what I am contemplating is all that really matters. The thing that gets me out of bed is greater than me. It is my truth: love, peace, vision, intention, joy, innocence. In other words: Christ or spirit. I am a spirit. I have not lost the point of being alive: learning to be spirit rather than human.
After 4 laps, I figure I’ve been out there 2 hours without any major problems, might as well do 6. After 6 laps, I decide I’d hate to waste coming this far, might as well do one more. After 7, I decide to do a short lap to cap the run at 21 miles. Then….I get in the car and drive home. Simple as that.