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The Night is Mine.

Posted on June 21 2009

What is it about a night run that makes me so happy? I really do not know, but on this last night run a few very interesting theories have come up, and yet they are not theories, theories are for scientists. I’m a runner, and runners don’t need explanations, all we need is hills.

Running off into the distance, our eyes wide awake and yet rendered useless by the inundating darkness that sweeps over the hills at night. the trees prevent the scare rays of moonlight from hitting the poorly lit trail. I take a deep breath and it all starts to come back to me. I remember what made me fall in love with running, I remember the fear from that first night run; the fear of getting caught by my parents, by the rangers, the fear of running of the side of the trail, the fear of encountering some hostile animal. Yet as soon as that last hill is conquered, all that is left is the beauty of the hills, my hills.

Why do we never encounter other runners while on our night runs? Thinking mathematically we could come up with the probability, or lack thereof, of us meeting another runner at a given date and time, but could that simple question be answered with a complex calculation? No, a simple question requires a simple answer; others ask why we run at night, we run at night.

There are a select few that know why we run at night and they know why not from asking, but from running. They know from lacing up their running shoes in the middle of the night, preparing everything as meticulously as possible as to prevent getting caught. They know from sneaking past the rangers, from sprinting through the farm, from staring up at the sea of stars that are only visible in the latest hours of the night, away from the city. And they know from loving every single step of the way from “Lets run” to “That was an amazing run”. The ones who truly understand are the ones who lay out under the stars, hoping for a shooting star, not budging until one flys by just to wish for another love in life.

Maybe it’s the view, maybe it’s the fear, or maybe it’s just the joy that makes me put one leg infront of the other again and again in the middle of the night. Being able to see the whole city lit up when everyone else is asleep is one of the most beautiful sights in the world, not because the city is beautiful, but because out in nature we are above the city. Its laws don’t apply to us, and all the restrictions it places on its citizens are broken. Even if our bodies are a measly 4 miles away from the city, our hearts and minds are worlds away, indulging in the simple pleasures this beautiful earth has to offer us. The fear that brought us to the top of the world is still present in our descent from the peak. The fear of not knowing what is around the next corner, the fear of an unseen root or rock, or the simple fear of never being able to run again. Rather than letting the fear hold us down, we live off the fear, we turn it into determination and send it through our legs and back into the soil which brought the fear upon us in the first place. Running faster and faster into the unknown, adjusting as it unfolds infront of our eyes, letting all the worries of the regimented life we live in the city melt away. We are no longer above the beings that live out in nature, we are one of them as God intended us to be. We have decided to leave the apple tree alone and indulge in the woods it resides in. After all the stress and pain of the city have melted away, all that’s left is pure happiness, not for anything in particular, just for life. Our minds keep us aware of the potential dangers of running at night, and yet our hearts cancel out the fear, and give us a sense of security, a sense of direction, and a big smile.

Maybe the view, fear, and the joy from running at night are just what we perceive to be the reasons why we run at night. One thing is certain though, the one thing that makes us agree to run at night, that makes us set a good nights sleep aside for an amazing nights run, that helps us step out the back door and not look back, that one thing is love. Love for running, and love for life.

Life is short so lace up those running shoes, sneak out the back door, close your eyes, and open your heart.


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