Saturday was a gray, chilly, cloudy day, but after 9 hours at work indoors, I felt the need for movement, for outdoors, for fresh air and open skies. There weren’t many other people out on the lakeshore – which meant that my favorite method of running wasn’t really an option. (I motivate myself to run by running imaginary races with the other runners – and try not to forget that they don’t know they’re racing me, so it’s bad form to taunt them when I pass them…)
Horizon to horizon was shades of gray – gray green lake with billowing waves, overcast sky of slate and smoke… The air was steely, biting with each breath, and it felt cold (especially after the heat wave of last week.) But movement and the swish of feet played counterpoint to the spray of waves breaking on the storm wall, and I danced. 2/3rds of the way through, I found a miniature tennis ball that some dog had brought, played with, chewed up, and left, and I spent the last 2 miles dribbling and spinning, remembering the kids from Rio who would play with whatever they could find. I left it by the tunnel under Lakeshore Drive for someone else to find. I felt so content.
This afternoon I went out again – the day was sunny and warm – brilliant golds and greens and blues threatened to overwhelm the senses, people crowded the path, and the beat was infectious. And sitting by the underpass was my little red and blue tennis ball from Saturday. I kicked and chased it for a mile or two, then carried it the rest of the way over the sand and along the stone. For some reason, finding that little ball made me feel free – and chasing it towards and around all those serious runners who were in the business of exercising reminded me of the joy that I feel when I’m out there.
How did you play today? And if you didn’t, how will you play tomorrow?