Zoning out.

It was a Monday.  Mondays are always a mixed bag of feelings.

I got the kids ready for school and out the door.  I came home and did a couple of things for work and then let some dust settle.

I wanted to run.

I had nothing pressing.

So, without delay, I changed into running gear, grabbed some water and fuel, and headed out, lest the phone ring or I hear the email *ping* that would cause me to pause.

I decided to do loops that day.  Loops just felt like what I needed.  I could zone out, I wouldn’t have to worry about routes, I could just run.  I figured I’d switch directions every 2 loops to change it up.

As I set out, I finished off my morning prayers.  Before I knew it, I was two loops in.  Now was a good time to stop, drink, and switch directions.  It was overcast, and slightly cool which was fantastic.  I was getting into a nice groove and my legs felt strong.

As I finished the third loop, I decided to put my entire music library on shuffle.  I rarely do this, because the kids’ songs are on my phone, as well as every other genre you can imagine.  Sometimes, I need “running” music that creates a particular mood and carries me through.

That day, however, I had no expectations.  I didn’t have a set mileage in mind, I wasn’t training for anything in particular-I just wanted to run.

It’s funny what happens when you really listen to lyrics.  Even with songs that you’ve heard dozens of times.  The songs that came on that day took on new meanings as I looped my way through the morning. It was as if they were speaking directly to what was going on in my life at that precise point in time.

“Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time.” Queen.  Yes, I was having a very good time.

“There comes a day when you’re going to look around, and realize happiness is where you are…You must find happiness right where you are… But once you know what you like, well, there you are.” From Moana.  Yes, I’ve been searching for happiness, and have come to realize that I already have it.

“Come on, raise it, come on raise this noise. Four million people , now one voice…We’ll be birds, flying free.” Coldplay.  I felt like a bird flying free in the forest.

“I have these thoughts so often I ought to replace that slot with what I once bought, somebody stole my car radio and now I just sit in silence. Sometimes quiet is violent. There is no distraction to mask what is real…There is Faith, and there’s sleep. Faith is to be awake and to be awake is for us to think and for us to think is to be alive….” Twenty One Pilots.  Yes, sometimes it’s hard to sit in silence.  But, lately, I’ve learned to embrace it.  So much happens when you let silence take over. So much thinking….no distractions.

“Where is my mind…way out in the water, still swimming….” The Pixies.  My mind was all over the place, taking in every sight and sound on the trail, taking pictures of the leaves and colors.

“Serve God, love me and mend. This is not the end. Live, unbruised we are friends. And I’m sorry. Sigh no more, no more. Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free. Be more like the man you were made to be. There is a design,
an alignment to cry, of my heart to see, the beauty of love as it was made to be.” Mumford and Sons.  I have always loved these lyrics.  They always speak to me, no matter what is going on.

“Maybe it’s up with the stars.  Maybe it’s under the sea. Maybe it’s not very far. Maybe this is how it’s supposed to be. Maybe it’s trapped in a jar.  Something we’ve already seen. Maybe it’s nowhere at all. Maybe this is how it’s supposed to be…Looking forward as we rewind. Looking back as I drive sometimes. Being here is so easy to do….if you want to.” Jack Johnson.  Another one of my all time favorites.  Simple, yet profound.

Before I realized it, I had run out of food.  I went further than I thought I would that morning, and I had already missed lunch.  I figured I should call it a day.

I left the trail hungry for food, and for more miles.  Maybe next time…

Run Happy. Run Long, Friends.


Amy is an ultramarathoner and triathlete, a coach, a mother of four, an Exercise Physiologist and a Physical Therapist. She lives with her husband, Dan (also an ultramarathoner and triathlete), and kids in Ohio.

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