Friday, July 5, 2013

Running on the boards

I’m on a stop and go journey of trying to become a better person. One of the reasons I run is to keep pushing myself towards that better person off in the distance.  I lack patience, get irritable and generally want people to behave in a manner that accords with my preset notion of how people should behave.  Unfortunately, not everyone subscribes to the Book of John.  However, when I run, as the miles tick by, I find I have more patience, my mood improves and I begin not to care or be bothered by how other people act.

This week I’m lucky enough to be on vacation in Ocean City, New Jersey.  Of interest, Ocean City is a dry town, where there are no bars or liquor stores and restaurants can’t serve alcohol.  If you want a beer, you have to drive over a bridge to Circle Liquors, pick up a six pack and drink it in your house.  Since it’s a dry town, it ends up being a town full of families.

The two big attractions in Ocean City are the beach and the 2 ½ mile wooden boardwalk which abuts the beach on one side.  On the other side of the boardwalk, for about 1 ½ miles, are t-shirt shops, pizza joints, miniature golf places, ice cream stores and the like.  For this mile and a half the boardwalk has bike lanes, surrey lanes, pedestrian lanes and lanes for runners going north and south.  The lanes are clearly labeled and marked.
However, not everyone stays in their designated lanes and others drift from east to west without looking to the north or south.  No big deal, right?  Just run around them.  For Mr. Irritable, it can be a big deal and as I begin my run, my mind is besieged with thoughts like, "Why can't people just stay in their lanes".  I lose my patience and struggle to hold my tongue.  

After five days of running the boards, I've managed to let go.  I just run.  If someone is walking at me in the "RUNNERS" lane, I run around them.  If someone walks in front of me without looking, I avoid them.  I've shut my monkey mind off and let the experience of being surrounded by runners, walkers and cyclists wash over me.  Of course, now that I've let go, its time to go home.

San Elijo Hills Running Club

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