I went for a thirty-minute jog, around Greenlake in Seattle. I usually listen to music while I run, but this time I just tried to focus on the natural sounds around me. It was around six pm, and the sun was just beginning to slide towards the horizon. The air was thick with pollen and exhaust close to the road, but further down towards the water, it was clean and crisp. I ran on the gravel path closest to the lake. Instead of concentrating on the beat of my music as a motivation to run farther, I had to rely on the sounds of the lake. The more I ran, the more I began to notice sounds that I’d never heard while running the 3.1 mile path before. There was the sound of birds chirping in the trees, the rustling of leaves in the wind, and the sounds of other people and their dogs enjoying a nice spring day. I tired to find a rhythm to follow in order to maintain endurance. It took me a while but I soon found the sounds of the water, the waves, licking the shore allowed me to concentrate. I unconsciously adjusted my breathing and stride to match the sounds of the waves.
To my surprise this caused me to forget that I was running at all. The aches and pains and fatigue were forgotten and I truly just focused on my breath and the waves.
Posted: Tuesday, June 1st, 2010