If not now, then when? - my first run of the year
January second, two thousand seventeen. The alarm goes off early. I groan in the darkness, the fog of my late night holiday habits mix with my snooze button instincts. I can almost feel the collective groan throughout the city. The ache of “oh yeah this is why I don’t do this” filling dark, cold rooms with comfortable beds. The moment for all of us arrives. Day one of our new lives. Day one of being that person that ran away somewhere in June, or March, or mid January of last year.
I lay there and fight. The excuses come rushing in, trying to trap me in my bed. They know which tactics work well. They know where I’m most weak. They are winning. But I rally. No! Not today! Not this year!
I remove the covers, my body hisses at the cold. Don’t care, I'm doing this. Shoes tied, coat zipped, here I come 2017! Here I come … oh my gosh, it’s snowed like a foot. Like a miracle, the excuses rebound their strength. “you have to dig your car out, you have to shovel your drive way. This is no time to run.” I start digging.
I’m mixed with relief and frustration. Relief that I’m bound by duty to spend this time digging mine and my wife’s car out from under the heavy burden of snow. I mean this has to get done. I have to go to work. Frustration that I know I’m lying to myself. I know if I hustle I can make time to go running. I’m productively procrastinating. I know this practice well.
The sun starts to caress color into the sky. I pause. What a beautiful morning. The fresh snow has cleaned everything up, laid it out in white and silence. A clear slate for the new year. It all seems to say to me, “What are you going to do with me? Yes, the year will be full of storms, full of duties that need attending, full of circumstances that need addressing, full of excuses just like the last. You can shovel and sleep your way through this year or you can write a better story."
I quickly finish up. My body warm from the snow removal, I jog down the white lane. My lungs begin to pump baby clouds back into the atmosphere as I take strides into the wintery morning. A maturing pink highlights the horizon. The grey of morning relaxes into the day ahead. The remaining whispers of the storm cling to the surrounding mountains. And as I leave my footprints in the snow I realize, this is a morning I would not have wanted to miss.