My motivation to exercise has been severely lacking lately. I haven’t been riding my bike to work, and I rarely put in more than a couple of runs a week. It’s like I’m hitting the off-season hard, without an on-season to speak of.
But the light at the end of the tunnel appeared yesterday. It had snowed on Wednesday, and Thursday was due to be sunny, so I knew that I wanted to get out and enjoy the crisp temperatures with the warm sun. I headed out with a couple of friends up towards Boulder Canyon. We reached the end of city maintenance and were greeted with deep crusty snow, with a thin icy trail tracked out up the canyon path. The runners ahead of us had all turned back at this point, but I saw it as a challenge. We forged ahead, slipping backwards almost as much as running forwards our progression was laughable at times. I could have walked faster, but for some reason the feeling of dancing over the chunks of ice felt so much better.
Our efforts were rewarded as we emerged from the shade of the canyon into a lone sunbeam shining down through the pines on Mt. Flagstaff. All of the trees were draped with heavy snow, and the result was a scene right out of a Christmas card. Breathing the cool air as I took in the amazing sight, I was filled with joy for the moment! This is not something you would experience sitting at a desk at work, or cramped in a car seat. This was a treat that the effort of running had brought.
Before we turned around to pick our way back down the icy path I realized the joy that had been missing for the past few months. It’s moments like these that make us runners, or more appropriately, that keep us runners. Without the moments of joy, the default is to plod through the miles day-in and day-out, or worse, to do nothing at all. It’s important to savor runs like these, and remember them when it’s tough to get out the door.