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Running Still

I used to meditate. I still do, but I used to do it more and was better at it. Being present is a hard feeling to convey in writing, but you know it when you feel it. In our modern world, surrounded by screens and notifications and clicks and as a go, go, go attitude has become the norm, the strength in stillness. Respect in reflection. And when I go for a certain run, there is meditation in those miles.

There is such value in intentionality and mindfulness. When I set out for a run of at least an hour (or longer if I am so lucky as to have the time), I know that for the next 60 minutes, I will be meditating. Sure, there is a level of awareness needed - runs are made better by not being hit by a truck - but that awareness seems to flow naturally from a place of introspection. When I am on a long run, I do not move. Perhaps I stride, legs pumping dutifully below me, feet kicking in time to my heartbeat, but I am stationary. Solid.

It is the world that moves around me, turning towards me with grace. And just as quickly as it comes, it goes. There is a balance and a beauty to it. A serenity in those steps. On these runs, I do not realize how far I have gone. The gentle claps of rubber on pavement works like a metronome. It may not be "Om" but it is more than enough to have the melodic, hypnotic effect that draws down into inner peace.

Just like that, I am face to face with the sea. The water has always calmed me - I grew up a stone's throw from it - but those are stories for later. The only story I long for now is the one I am currently writing, the one I am living, running. I pause, taking a breathe, feeling the salt air fill my lungs. I am at peace in the way that only meditation allows.

I turn about-face, content in my breathe, pace, life. On foot follows the other, happily turning the world towards whatever comes next.

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