|Thursday, November 13, 2008
Once Upon a Sunday about 6AM and it was a day like any other in west Florida, the skies were a clear blue and the temperature hovered around 76 F. The beach was quiet, the surf was soft and foamy with a salty tang in the air. While the weekend crowd slept, I was up and while I surveyed the white sands I stretched, warmed-up, and took my first steps into my 10 K run. On a day like today it felt like I was somewhere else. If you ignored the high rise condos it seemed like one of those out of the way stretches of sand and surf one might find along Lake Erie, or in western Australia. My steps came soft and hushed against the damp sand as my heart rate increased and the sweat began to flow, the early sunrise looking like a picture in some vacation getaway brochure. My legs were relaxed, my shoulders loose, and I began to lengthen my stride while dodging the occasional mini crab as they left their little holes in the sand in search of food.
As I ran my mind drifted to an earlier time near the shores of Lake Erie in north Ohio, and of quirky childhood spent exploring every nook and cranny of the small town I grew up in. In the summer on my motorcycle, or bicycle and in the winter jogging especially on those rare occasions when the snow was fluffy and not too deep. It seemed I could run forever with the chill air providing free air conditioning, the shapes of the houses somehow softened by the snow on the roofs, stairs, and yards. It seemed a fairy kind of place, right on the edge of civilization not at all the hub of manufacturing it really was. My soul would soar, as my body seemed to hum and burn softly with an inner heat, which made it seem much warmer than it really was.
Back in the real world (or was it) I was already drenched with sweat, feeling the heat of day and tasting more of the salt with every breath. I made a sweeping turn and headed back on the return part of my run seeing a couple more brave souls stager out into the morning light some wearing sweaters as if it were cold? The bird population was also becoming more active while the occasional fish would show itself along the surface good news for the larger birds. As I began to wind down my run slowing towards the end and starting towards the house I knew that a more perfect morning could not be had, now I could look forward to a perfect day. A hot shower and breakfast were on my mind, this is life as pure and simple as it gets can’t wait till tomorrow.