A few days ago, there was a rainy, dark, and bitter cold evening. Now I had been trying to run every day, for my health and for my spirits. I was in the middle of final projects for grad school, and my strained muscles itched for movement. All this aside, I knew on this evening, if I went for a run, I was going to get wet, and I was going to get cold.
They say the hardest part of a training run is getting out the door.
I did get out the door. And if you know me, you know I don't plan much. In fact, I even decide where to run sometimes, while I'm running. I took a page out of my high school cross country team's playbook and went for a "scrambled eggs" run --an improvised run without a destination. I wound up at Brookdale Park in Montclair. I preferred the muddy paths to the concrete paths, and soon I was darting around the many trees in the park, blazing my own trail. This evolved into a game. Mimicking the orbital paths of planets shown in the TV show Cosmos I love right now, I slingshot myself around the "gravity" of the trees, dodging left and right and left again. It was so fun because I was running in the moment, and I rarely ran in the same direction for long. Of course, getting whipped by tree branches I couldn't see in the dark or sliding on muddy tree roots wasn't ideal. But it was exciting. What's my game called? Well, I know what I won't call it. I won't name it after one of the boring research papers I've read for my literature review project. No, this game will not be called, "Small-scale Kinesthetic Modeling of Planetary Orbits As a Coordination Building Exercise and Dopamine-inducing Event"
Maybe it can be called, simply, "Orbits!" It reminded me how necessary PLAY is in my life. Adding variety, and curiosity, and the space for discovery to all parts of my life is to invoke my inner child's playfulness, to enjoy life more.
Happy Trails everyone,