First time ever flying into Jacksonville. I have been there a couple of times but never flown in. It is rare these days for me – after 20 years of flying in US – to say that I am visiting a particular airport in this country for the first time. Jacksonville will be the 103rd airport I have ever flown into. 58th in US. Why I keep track of these things, I do not know. Some more statistics I keep track of – how many countries I have visited (30), how many countries I have run in (11) and such… Do you have any such statistic that you keep track of?
There are certainly days when the nagging problems of the left knee and right hamstring make me wonder why I continue running. Soon, invariably, comes along a very forceful answer in the form of a day like today.
Our Sunday Funday Runday was canceled because of the rains. I decided to go ahead and keep up with the tradition of the early morning run on Sunday – albeit all by myself. The 5 mile run in rain on Greenway Trail was an absolutely delightful immersion in nature.
It was nature’s pristine beauty at its mesmerizing best. The early morning light struggled to break through the firm grip the dark clouds had over the sky. The verdant spring leaves were even more resplendent with the glisten from the overnight rainfall. As far as I my eyes could go there was the narrow trail snaking thru the tall impressive trees vanishing in the misty white drizzle in the distance.
The drone of the continuous pitter patter of rain on the leaves were interrupted only by the mellifluous chirping from the birds and the occasional darts of rabbits and a particular deer startled by me. Saw a couple of other runners too – reassuring that I was not the only madcap out there!!
Couple of times I ran by and over creeks brimming with muddy water from side to side. The unbridled mind floated back to the days a few decades back, when my sister and myself would make boats from paper and float them down small rivulets made from sharp rains. And go out after rains to check the water puddles for tiny tadpoles. I wondered for a while while I can still make those paper boats… or for that matter when was the last time I saw a tadpole.
Five miles later, I was back to my starting point, dripping wet but with a serenity that probably comes with stepping out of the four walls and being one with nature on a dark rainy day. And as I started drying myself up, I remembered – Indeed, that is why I run. With the hurting knee, hamstring and all…