The journey of a runner often begins with a goal and slowly manifests itself into a lifestyle. It grabs a hold of you in a way that circumvents explanation and forces you into a partnership with your surroundings. It allows you take notice of the seasons, but most of all, it allows you to experience them.
Running has its benefits in terms of health and fitness, but what often goes unnoticed is its discrete ability to foster a greater appreciation for the world around you. I never really appreciated the seasons and what each one uniquely had to offer before I became a runner. For example, in the spring I get the opportunity to run among the aroma of freshly bloomed flowers and soft wind caressing my skin. I notice every butterfly and bird as I run against a picturesque backdrop. I become grateful for a season like the spring in that it provides me with perfect running weather along with serenity filled thoughts of bliss.
The summer, with the grueling heat, can often halt me immediately in my tracks, but somehow provides me with a sense of strength. On the days when the sun is sitting high among the bright blue cloudless sky, I can’t help but be enthralled by its beauty. Children are enjoying the days when they are free from the confines of school and simply enjoying their youth. Their laughter serves as a reminder of a time when I was once free of stress and worry. In those moments I too become a child again and I run with a vitality once believed to only be reserved for my younger years. I challenge the heat. I run against it. I run with it.
Cooler winds signal the return of fall and comfortable running outdoors. Squirrels endearingly attempt to run into my path and chuckle as I pass by. The leaves, in wonderful shades of reds, oranges, yellows and browns, sway amongst the branches and wave. They often sit scattered against the concrete trail and crunch beneath my every step, crumbling into thousands of pieces, yet their beauty remains constant.
Soon the cool air gives way to frigid cold fronts and cooler temperatures. The leaves disappear and suddenly everything goes quiet. There is a peace centered on each run and, although it is cold, it is comfortable. The chill in the air becomes therapeutic and I begin to understand the meaning of what it is to run in anything and everything. The loveliness of my surrounding is no longer in the trees, the green grass, or a bright blue sky, but rather it is in me. It is in the fact that I am still running.
The seasons pass too quickly and I have found that it is best to enjoy them as often as possible, because with the seasons so go the years and I am determined to live each one to the fullest. For now that means running on a beautiful spring day, struggling through a summer run, becoming re-energized in the fall air and finding myself in a winter blast. Life is too short to let it pass me by so for now I will just keep running with the seasons.
6 thoughts on “Running With The Seasons”
I love running in the sunshine, or a gently drizzling rain, or the snow, or early morning, or night-time… You are right – just about every condition has something special to offer runners. As soon as I shake this cold, I’m lacing up my shoes and gonig for a run in the snow.
I never thought I would love running in all of the seasons. I once thought that spring was pretty much the only time to run outdoors. But, I love running in all weather now!! Don’t you hate it when you’re sick and can’t run? When I get sick all I can think about is when I will be healthy enough to run. 🙂
I’m just getting into running for the last 9 months. Being a panzy when it comes to the cold…this is going to take some work! However, I’ve been cycling in it so I’m sure the run is doable.
-dz (training for my first half ironman)
Running in the cold is not so bad…It helps to have something like the Under Armor Cold Gear, which definitely keeps you warm. You can warm up very quickly when running. I think it’s awesome you are training for your first half ironman…that is a long term goal of mine. Keep up the good work!!!
“The loveliness of my surrounding is no longer in the trees, the green grass, or a bright blue sky, but rather it is in me. It is in the fact that I am still running.” That’s a great way to put it. It can be hard to get going at first, but the cold weather makes everything a little quieter and makes me feel stronger for running, even just for a little while.
That is so true…It is always hard to start, but suddenly it gets easier…even, like you said, if it’s “just for a little while.” 🙂