The ground. That is the depressing finish to this sentence. I went on a long (for me) run this morning as we are actually having a beautiful spring here in the high desert. Normally spring is non-existent. We just go from snow to mud to broiling hot without a whole lot of nice days in between, but not this year. It’s lovely, and I’ve made an early escape from the treadmill to the outdoors.
I look at this. . .
I’ve been thinking about that these past few weeks because I’m struck by the beauty of the mountains greening up when I do look up, right before I look down again.
I think its because I’m a list maker, a life chunker. I like to break everything down into manageable pieces. Because I live near the mountains, when I run I climb a lot of hills. If I look down, I can only see about four feet in front of me, especially if I wear a hat, and anyone, including me, can run four feet. If I look down, I can break down an entire run, especially the climbs, into four foot chunks. I even have a “hill” mantra that I chant as I climb, “climb up this side, coast down the other, climb up this side, coast down the other.” If I only can see the next four feet of the hill, before I know it, I’ve made it to the top.
I do look up on the down hill sections, but I also often run on trails, and if I look up too much, I might trip. I need to see where I’m going to avoid stepping in a hole, so I find my eyes glued to the ground right in front of my feet again.
The problem with this approach, I’m discovering, is that I can miss the whole big picture, the beauty of the journey. It’s one thing to have a goal and go for it, even if it is only four feet, but not at the expense of the whole view. I tend to forget that.
The funny thing is that I really do like getting outside and exercising – I just need to look up occasionally and enjoy it. Perhaps I need a new mantra, something like, “pull your head up (or out!), enjoy the journey, pull your head up, enjoy the journey.”