I've started running again. Just a few miles around the neighborhood. Nothing big or earth-shattering. I just can't find any other exercise that gives me the results running does. It's definitely painful and I'm still easing back into it. I'm still waiting for the turning point. Runners know it. It's the point where your body craves the high. You have to run and you feel restless when you don't.
Aside from the obvious physical benefits, running has also given me a mental boost. I take a time-out and go running during that critical time of the day: after my spouse gets home but right before the evening routines. The more I run, the clearer my thoughts and the stress just melts away. All the whining and complaining and bickering that my children have done is suddenly gone. It's just me running against the dusk.
Running past friends' houses, past elderly couples out for a stroll, and past kids wringing the last bit of play out of the day. Then, without warning, the sky turns bright pink then blackish-gray and the last bit of sun is gone. I see a sea of lights - white and red - and Long's Peak rising above them like a mighty iceberg.
I keep going, around the circle and past the girls' school, down past the firehouse and the Lutheran church, the Catholic church and the Evangelical church. I pause to admire a Nativity scene in a neighbor's yard. I start the up the small hill that leads me home, past familiar places, until I arrive at my red door, spent, happy, and so thankful for this life.