Even in the midst of overwhelming demands from work, report cards coming due at the end of the week, when it seems I am glued to the keyboard of my laptop and not for the reasons that I want to be; I did manage to escape briefly this weekend and go on a 7 mile run. I know that sounds crazy, my break from school work was physical work. 3 gut wrenching miles uphill; slow and steady. 2 miles flying, zooming, soaring down the tree-lined trail; quick and easy. 2 more miles dragging, struggling, pushing; difficult but necessary. As challenging as it can be, running is freeing. It is time away from work, from responsibilities, from stress. The meditative focus on the breath, form, and effort is a release from the mental chatter of daily life. When I am at my busiest it would be easy to skip my run, because I just don't have the time. But when I am at my busiest is when I need running the most. It might mean getting up at 5:15 on a school day or going to bed early on a Friday night but creatively finding this time for me is never something I've regretted. Sure there are sore muscles, stomach aches, side aches and all of the other obstacles you can imagine, but there are also beautiful views, hard-won victories, and feelings of utter elation.
I haven't seen too many signs of fall here in Claremont, California yet. Sure the weather is growing cooler and November is creeping to a close but the physical evidence of the season has been lacking.
On my long run this Saturday, I saw this solitary tree that said, "Hello, autumn!" I'm sure you can see why this was the highlight of my weekend.