I have said before that I will run every chance I get, in any place, in any weather and in any time zone. That's how deep my passion for running goes. The only real tragedy when running would be if I no longer enjoyed myself. I cannot deny, however, that my daily runs around my urban neighborhood has left me wanting. In all my running years, I feel like I have dodged enough vehicles, swerved around many pedestrians and skipped over too many potholes as I make my way around the metro. So just recently, I decided to change things up a bit by taking trips out of the city and run ....into the woods.
Running in the "great outdoors" does provide an undeniable escape from what can be an otherwise stress-filled day. It gives one the opportunity to trade-in the outside environment of cars and other city noises for fresh air and the sound of birds, bugs and trees rustling in the wind; to be running in mud or dirt instead of hard pavement; to be seeing clear blue skies instead of skyscrapers and dodging rocks and rivers instead of potholes and construction piles. I find that the change of scenery and being closer to Mother Nature does provide a spiritual connection that is very grounding, healthy for the mind and benefits the soul.
I wish we could have an oasis within the Metro, a naturally preserved park wherein one can just step into to run ( maybe even just walk or stroll ) and be transported into another world that is seemingly far away yet very close. And once we have rejuvenated our senses enough, we could just step out, ready to face reality and the challenges of the outside world. Unfortunately, such a place does not exist nearby so for now, I will have to contend with taking hour long drives away from the Metro searching for an oasis to run. Unless of course I move to the "Boondoks", maybe grow my own food, raise chickens and goats, bathe in the river ----- and of course, run wild and free. Actually, that's not such a bad idea after all.