Saturday, January 23, 2010

The finish line is where I put it.

I’ve got a golden day with clear, crisp air and a little extra time not being savaged by demands and schedules clawing at my morning. Out the door I go. I slip quietly into the stream of life … and just flow. Running. Is there any better way to connect to the universe than in the rhythm of footfall? There can’t be.

I’ve begun to envision my morning runs as the final miles of the New York City Marathon. I rehearse crossing the finish line. Just for a moment, our house is Tavern on the Green and our mailbox is a New York Road Runner cheering my arrival. I wave and smile up at the raccoons and down at the armadillos (who are no doubt impressed), raise my arms in triumph, run into the driveway in a final push, and then decelerate exhaustedly into a mythical crowd of finish line workers.

Sports psychologists teach us that envisioning success imprints it. I’m imprinting, baby! Later, when I’m further into training, I’ll add a laurel wreath and the cover of Runner's World (“Browning Wins ING New York Marathon”) to the fantasy. For now, the fantasy is a little limited by my being winded and wanting to throw up for real in the driveway. I’ll do better later.

The neighbors have begun to talk, but they have always thought me eccentric. My new behavior is probably becoming just one more of the stories that entertain them. When I'm on the cover of Runner's World, all will become clear and they'll be sorry they doubted my sanity ... again.

On to Tavern on the Green one more time! Whooooo hoooooo!

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