One foot in front of the other. Pace steady, breathing good, soft gaze into the distance. Weeks of training finally transformed into reality. No sounds except the ocean rolling onto the shore and the beat of hundreds of people pounding the pavement in unison. The same route I ran with headphones, electronic music blasting into my ears to keep me going. The world blocked out, just me and my thoughts. This time it’s different. No music, just awareness. No replaying the past, just steady breathing. No cars, no pedestrians, no couples strolling hand in hand, no reminders of loneliness. This time I’m one of many, part of a collective, all running towards the finish line. I’ve never known the street so quiet, so peaceful, so relaxing. In the midst of the crowd I feel calm. No distractions, just running, one foot in front of the other. Pounding the pavement. Meditation in motion.
This was written after completing the Round the Bays Half Marathon in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2014.