Sunday, January 27, 2008

Running the Bridges...

In downtown Jacksonville, there are five bridges that traverse the St. Johns River, all of them somewhat landmarks in town, and all of them lit at night surrounding the skyline with blue light. My favorite bridge has to be the Main Street Bridge - you can still walk over this old drawbridge, and stand in the middle and watch the river churn down below (it spans the river at one of it's narrowest points, and standing in the center it is almost as if the bridge itself is moving).

I am by no means a speed demon, I think my body was built for more sedentary things, like eating and drinking, but at the same time, I love to run and I love to feel the pain that starts somewhere in my fingertips, and by the end has consumed just about every part of my body, I don't recover as quickly as I used to, and for me, there is nothing better than that feeling in the mornings of tight crampy muscles that don't want to do anything but rest. My dad always used to say "Pain is weakness leaving your body" - and that is the truth - pain is the process of tempering for me, and there are reasons for it.

Sunday mornings always give me the opportunity to run the bridges in peace. Downtown is empty, there are no cars or business folks milling about, just the church crowd heading downtown to go impress their friends at the old town churches. The wind is even calmer, and the river sounds are lighter and easier - it is just not as hectic. It is my church - I sacrifice as I run to the top of the spires, I take a deep breath, and I praise the day as the downhill side of those bridges encourages me to run faster -

I know that later today, I have to pack my bags for another trip to Seattle, and before, I never really looked forward to packing, but now, I am ready for this trip - it is supposed to snow, and just the thought of seeing that city in the snow is a cheery feeling. I know that I will probably not be able to feel the way I do right now forever - and I know that at the end of all of this, there is probably a major let down - but it is sort of like running the bridges, I want to run uphill and feel the burning legs, and I want to fly downhill and feel the wind. I know that one day I will wake up and the pain will be there - but I will go back to my dad's advice "Pain is weakness leaving your body".

We all have to travel at times, and we all have to run at times, and we all have to look forward to things - most importantly, we all have to realize that right now is all there is - granted we can plan and think, but right now is all we really know - and I will run and not worry about the pain.

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