First, there’s the warmup.
Greeting my cold legs, still heavy from sleep.
Waking up my ankles and feet.
Moving over the easy gravel, knowing there’s more to come
As I Find today’s rhythm, always unique.
Here comes the hill.
Now it’s really time to play.
Winding up the switchbacks,
The heart kicks into double time.
Pumping blood, pumping life,
Deep breaths of cold thin air,
The lungs and thighs burn in synchronicity.
The dance of oxygen and blood as lifeforce flows
To my calves, my toes, my heart, my mind.
Scanning the horizon but watching the rocks ahead,
Feeling the burn, feeling the strength.
Pain and pleasure twist together in the most ancient of cycles,
As the trail gets steeper.
Climbing, Step after step, Breath after breath.
Asking for just a little more, Digging just a little deeper.
Then my dear friend Doubt comes for her visit.
“Are we there yet?” She asks. “Maybe we should take a break?
Why not take the easy road?
Why do you keep pushing yourself?”
The cold air chaps my skin as sweat stings my eyes.
Taking a sip of water, Imposter syndrome makes its routine appearance
The inevitable faster runner comes to pass me by, bounding along in endless grace.
But Doubt, we are old friends now.
The friend you’ve known forever and have learned to ignore.
So I keep going. Trusting my legs, trusting my heart.
And as it always is, just when we’re about ready to give up, the hill lessens.
Instantly my body responds.
A rush of oxygen, my legs feel lighter.
My heart stabilizes, the world feels good again.
Endorphins flooding the system.
The sun that was blazing hot a moment ago is now a friendly warmth.
Deep breath, and then Wow look at that view.
As the trail crests to the summit, the world opens up.
Blue sky folding into layers of mountain peaks.
Snow still whispering in the crooks of the boulders,
The birds are calling to each other from the sagebrush.
Then the wind starts blowing, waking me up from my reverie.
And now I find a new cadence, as the dance changes.
My feet find a new turning, as they fall into the rhythm of the rocks,
Of the sand and the mud, of the boulders and the pebbles.
My feet move across the earth, as my toes reach out and grasp the stone through my shoes.
Connecting in the most intimate way.
Kissing the earth, Breathing in the sky, drawing life from the Sun.
As the trail begins to turn downhill, my body comes alive.
Feet moving faster than the mind can think.
Until it finally stops trying.
With each revolution, with each step, coming closer and closer
To the Flow.
And then the trail opens up, smooth as silk.
And I find the Flow.
The Dance, The Dream.
The Poetry of Motion.
Are my feet still touching the ground? Or am I the ground?
One with the movement, everything works together in perfect harmony.
Flying, Free, This is the magic. This is the reason I know not to listen to Doubt. This is it!
And suddenly a rock shifts under my foot
And oh crap, I AM flying!
But my body still knows better than my mind does.
And it puts me back on my path.
My ankles are stronger than I give them credit for as they set me back on my feet.
And I continue on, a little shaken, but still strong.
Running a little slower, but still running.
Still moving. Still dancing.
The dance is ever-changing.
It has its ups and downs, its ebbs and flows.
Just as the world turns, we turn, step by step, mile by mile.
We find the flow, we lose it again.
We find our strength, and doubt comes along to try and snatch it away.
We falter and trip, but our bodies bring us back home again.
Because if we keep trying, if we keep dancing,
We will always find the poetry of motion.