The Art of Running ...

Monday, June 27, 2005
Running, to put it mildly, is one most aerobic and invigorating activity. With your heart and lungs pounding; Your body in such free streamlined flow; Your arms and legs swinging in instinctive rhythm; And your breath, an exhilarating magic.

So what do I feel when I get out to run in the morning ? I feel light. My feet feel light, joyous, delightful, inside my running shoes. And I tend to bump off the ground each time I lift my step.

Yes, the place where you are gonna run indeed has a bearing on how you would feel. Not in a stuffy, open room with glasses all around and on a tread-mill. Not on the pavement of a buzzing road full of dragging machines coughing smoke. Yeah, the chances of you feeling delightful rather than like toiling in the sake of a commitment is tough on those aforesaid terrains. But surely, in a lovely park with it's sky covered by trees and foliage, yeah.

So you start gently, you walk around the park. And of course, you don't choose the paved walkway to run, hard surface running can damage your tendons. You walk around the park, hearing the wind tickling the tops of a bamboo bush, seeing two squirrels running about; one after the other in a serpenting spiral up a tall tree, and listening to the lone cuckoo. I wonder how it manages to sound so happy when I'm almost sure that it's a lone cuckoo.

And then you run gently, at first taking a little effort to make sure that you indeed are in rhythm, and not just throwing your arms and legs about. Your heels taking the impact when your feet hit the ground and your toes pushing you off the ground when you thrust forward. And your arms swinging in harmony with your legs. After a few minutes you can take your attention off the rhythm; it maintains itself. And you can now look amused at a few sorry looking folks trying to chug on alongside; mostly obliging to stern medical recommendations, of course. And maybe feel smiling at the other few, who are actually enjoying what they are doing, few, but indeed there is beauty in this world. And admire the other few, who are, yeah, toiling for the sake of commitment.

And you run, round after round, you start to sweat, your lungs begin to ache sweetly, and your breath starts striding, on to the magical parts of the spectrum. You lift your gaze up, and drink the sun rays drizzling through the green sieve above.

You jump at random and aim your head at a few hanging bunch of leaves. A moment of flight; and when your feet touches the ground, they are reminded with slight reproach that they are not inside an Ipump by Reebok.

And as you turn the corner and glide into a straight patch, with a little practice you can visualize the scene flying past you as visuals sent back by an on-board camera from a Formula One racing car, just above the driver's head. You can later morph it into what is seen by a running gazelle; The world flowing past its field of vision, undulating, and blurry.

And you stop gently, gently, slowing down, descending into a walk, and walking, walking as your heart is still pounding, your breath still slightly lagging behind but following, and your lungs relenting, slowly, your body beats mellowing, calming down. Now you can breathe in deeply, and smile.