Sunday, September 13, 2009

Still there's more...

After my most consistent week of running (18 miles) I ran my most challenging route so far this morning (above). Just 3.5 miles, but with a long uphill stretch on Ironworks Rd. I've been reading Brendan Manning's book "Ruthless Trust" as a morning devotional, and today I realized that, while my running has been increasing in quality and duration, I've never really dedicated a run to the Lord. I guess I'm so "cliche-averse" I miss out on lots of obvious opportunities like that. Anyway, I chose to do so this morning, and that's what inspired me to break off of my standard 3-mile neighborhood run. I didn't do anything too fancy, just kept thanking God for things along the way. This seemed to keep me focused on this "dedication" and somewhere along the way I found myself adapting Todd Rundgren's catchy song "International Feel" with new lyrics that expressed gratitude and amazement. His refrain "Still there's more..." lent itself nicely to my words (I'll have to jot them down later, although they aren't exactly poetry). The result of this bit of discipline, combined with the perfect running weather -- cool, damp and bright -- was a wonderfully visual experience with nature bursting into sight and drawing my eyes down long vistas and into green pockets I'd never noticed before. And over it all, the orb of the sky seemed to gaze down and take notice of the same details as I did, affirming them with extra light. People on my runs are always notable, like gravity wells to a passing asteroid. As I've taken to the same streets over and over, I've started to recognize a few other old shufflers like myself, some real runners and a number of dog walkers. We exchange that little flick of the fingers and a mumbled "namaste" (we actually say "morning" but the meaning is the same) that passes for a greeting when you are slightly winded. Anyway, just as I was nearing home and rounding the last curve from Sunset to Jordan Ave. I saw a man come out of his house with his schnauzer and his little plastic collection bag and he looked up and me and said, "Keep up the good work." I smiled and said thanks. Nothing like a little blessing to end a perfect run.


Ayla View said...

Sounds like a great run on several levels!
It's funny, I sense a nature writer-esque feel from this post. Have you been reading Annie Dillard lately or somethin'?
Anyway, I'm terribly impressed by your 3.5 mile accomplishment!

kristen said...

I love to hear running stories like that. I've had a few runs where I have felt so lifted up like that, where I find myself very prayerful. It has become the gold standard by which all my other runs are measured. Great mileage week, too! I only narrowly beat you with 20 myself. I thought you were supposed to be a newbie?

Rick Broussard said...

Dear Ayla,

Regarding nature writers, it takes one to know one.

Rick Broussard said...

Dear Kristen,

If you and Ernesto hadn't demonstrated to me that runners are in fact human beings with functioning souls, I'd still be scowling at them and waving my fist out of the window of my car as my tires rolled dangerously close to their shiny expensive shoes.

Ernesto said...

Beautiful post - you captured that feeling perfectly. Makes me want to go for a run!

One of the big surprises for me about running was how many opportunities for deeply devotional moments there are. Maybe after a while the repeated motion and the altered brain chemistry bring you to the same place meditation and prayer do, or maybe it's just that the work of it strips away all the layers of gunk that get stuck between a person and God and let the communication flow the way it was intended to (or maybe both of those are the same thing), but in any case, it's an awesome feeling. I'm glad your digging it. Great job on the 3.5! You're out past a 5K now. Time to sign up for a race!