Thursday, August 25, 2011

Silent Running

Devotions this morning was led by the guy who started Team World Vision.  I don't know if it was him or my boss' boss' boss (also a runner) who said that when they started running, God told them "no headphones."

I never got any kind of indication from God when I started running one way or the other about headphones.  But I kinda figured they were vital - without music, would I be able to make it more than a few steps?

So tonight I knew I needed to get a run in and so I figured, ok, maybe a mile or so I'll go without headphones.  I wasn't sure I was going to make it more than two miles anyhow, I just wasn't feeling it.

Well, I didn't put the headphones in for the first two and a half miles.  I ultimately did 5-1/2 miles.  I might finally be getting the feel of my new shoes.   And maybe I'm feeling guilty for how little running I've done lately, or I'm worried about how far behind I'm getting on my goal.  It scares me that every day I don't run I get nearly 2 more miles behind.

Anyhow, it was interesting.  First there was just the sound of my shoes.

And my breath.

And my stupid keys.  Jingling jangling.  Nothing I did made them any quieter.  Usually I take only a housekey but tonight I accidentally stuffed the whole lot of them in my pocket and man they were annoying.

Ok, so besides that...

Distant murmur of traffic.

The tick-tick-tick of a sprinker.

The pad pad pad of my shoes with the occasional skritch as I ran over rocks.

The clinking of silverware inside someone's house.

Near silence.  (Save for the keys.)

It was dark out, and without cloud, so there was also the massive expanse of black overhead dotted with a few bright stars.

And then a major road, lots of car noises, someone cheering me on, more cars, speeding cars, kids laughing ecstatically as some event was getting out at a church.

And then I put on my headphones.  And the next eight minutes (two songs) seemed to take forever.  Not last forever, but take forever.  And then I got in the groove as the songs flew by as I flew down the road.  I just kept going and going.  And by the time I got home I felt like I was only home because I'd been gone an hour, not because I was tired or needed a break.

But... I went to Menchie's today and loaded up.  A reward my wife suggested since I had a few cavities filled.  (She was suggesting it because it would be easy to eat, not because it's good to fill your mouth with sweet, sweet sugar right after having cavities filled.)  I do not know if all that running was enough calories to counteract Menchie's.

But it was a good run.  And I'll definitely try running without headphones again.  Maybe eventually I'll stop thinking about myself and my immediate surroundings and be opening to hearing God speak to me.  Because that was their original point, that it would an opportunity to pray and be open to hearing from God.  But yeah, I was too self-aware/self-absorbed/self-attuned tonight.

But what a good run.

(Yes, the pictured shoe is a women's shoe.  But it's a black Nike running shoe and that's good enough for illustrative purposes.)
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