When was the last time you did something for the first time?
When was the last time you ran like a kid? Swung on the swings during your lunch break? High-fived another runner out on a run? Drank mimosas with your friends at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday while it stormed outside?
I’m not currently following a training schedule (when you’re on one from November-April a break is necessary), and it’s changing how I run. Now instead of aiming for mileage, time, or speed, I am aiming to just feel joy. To run happy. To do things for the first time, or at least be present in the moment and being attentive while I’m there.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t find joy in my training runs, I did very much. But this joy is different; it’s unpredictable what will trigger it and when. Spontaneity at its finest.
Some running-related examples of pure joy/first time happenings lately:
-Listening to Springsteen’s “Glory Days” while running over a bridge across the Cumberland River in the warm Tennessee sun. If that doesn’t invigorate you deep down, shoot son. (Okay, that video is from 1985 and fantastic. Click on it.)
-Dodging fallen tree branches (but totally splashing through the puddles) on the sidewalk after a storm from the night before. Ten points if you don’t step on the cracks!
-Sprinting up a hill just for the hell of it. (Okay, Busta Rhymes helped).
-Stopping to take a picture of that white church steeple poking through the trees in the distance on a trail run. Love them Tennessee hills!
-Not hitting a single stoplight on an urban run. Seriously, when does that EVER happen? But, it did.
-Realizing that bipedalism is totally awesome (And other “____ is totally awesome” realizations that seem pretty obvious, but are enlightening all the same).
-Getting into a zone with new Daft Punk, and letting the legs do the work. (Next time I might actually dance AND run, thus hopefully starting a rad and vibrant movement).
-Listening to Kings of Leon (“Ragoo” if you must know) while running by their star on the Music City Walk of Fame. Mentally giving them a high five and saying out loud, “Good on ya, boys!” (screw the on-looking tourists!) and turning it up.
See, the little things are the big things. When the little things happen for the first time, they’ll never be recreated the same way; they will remain those joyful moments you can write blogs about, that you’ll remember as the first time this happened.
So, when’s the next time you’re gonna do something for the first time?