I ran religiously 3-4 times a week until my late twenties. By then I was farming, and therefore extremely physically active, and in between pregnancies. Finding the time, and having a body healed and healthy enough to be able to run seemed tricky for a few years there. I would run sporadically, but inevitably the farm work/pregnancy combo would lead to soft tissue injuries that made running difficult. After having Edie, there were 4 solid years where I just couldn’t run.
Now that I’m done carrying babies in my body or on my hip, my body has finally healed. I run every Sunday. Without fail.
Usually I go around 6:30 a.m., before the highway starts getting busy. Going early allows me to take routes that wouldn’t be safe at other times. There is one loop – 4.75 miles – that I just love.
The first mile travels south along Highway P. The sun rises to my left and I love to watch how the light hits on the corn and soy plants, which are starting to turn yellowish now that September is here. There is a hill to the West and the way the light plays off the fields and the hill is just gorgeous.
When I come down the hill on P and turn east, suddenly the landscape changes to wetland. Dew sparkles no matter the time of year, and almost always there is low-lying fog along the creek. Sunlight on morning dew is the mid-west version of light on the ocean. A million sparkles; a million jewels of hydrogen hanging just so on curled grasses and spiky cattails.
The beauty of the run continues, with hills and wide vistas, and then returning to our farm. It’s gorgeous.
I love the hard work a run provides. I love the time it provides me to really see and love the country landscape I inhabit.
But mostly it’s not even about the exercise per say. It’s about the brain place it gets me to. It’s one of the only times of my week where I get to scope out from the intense detail of everyday life – bean picking, filling orders, organizing crew, packing lunches and snacks, doing dishes, scrubbing kids in the bath, etc. It allows me to scope out to a more macro-level where I can access my own feelings of deep gratitude and joy about the life I get to lead and the amazing people who are in it.
Runs are the closest I get to feeling spiritual, to moving through time, space and geography with gratitude and a focus on the now. While the younger me ran religiously in terms of quantity, I think the older me runs religiously as in spiritually.
May you have a space and way in your own life to access your own gratitude and joy.
Enjoy your veggies,