A wise bear once counseled me to “look for the bare necessities. The simple bare necessities. Forget about your heart rate monitor and your Garmin. Yeah man!”
Yesterday I inadvertently put this counsel into practice, and I must say it was exhilarating. I try to get in 5-6 miles over my “lunch break” on Tues and Thurs, but due to a conflict, I found myself facing two options for a Plan B: 1) go at 7:30 or so, once my two kiddos are either in bed or very close to it (like a good rooster, they are early to bed, early to rise), or 2) head out a little earlier than usual to enjoy a reasonably nice day before the forecasted storm came in.
I thought it over and decided to go with the latter, looking on Google maps to plan out a nice route. I was in a pretty lousy mood from work, so this run would be just what the doctor ordered. I was pretty sure I had tossed my running stuff in the car before work, just in case my lunch conflict cleared up. To my dismay, however, upon arriving at my car it was clear that I hadn’t. My running shoes were still there from Tuesday’s run, but I had nothing else. “Well there goes that,” I thought. Then a light bulb went off. “What do I really need to run?” I rummaged through my trunk and found an old pair of basketball shorts, probably in severe need of a washing, but they would serve their purpose. I rummaged a little more, looking for socks, a shirt, etc, but came up empty. I pondered my lack of options, then in a flash, proudly hiked up my black work socks, pulled off my shirt, and darted out the door, holding the key to my trusty ’95 Accord in hand. Did I really need to know my average heart rate or the exact time/distance I’d go? As Gabe from "The Office" once said, my delts are blasted. Should I conceal them from the world?!? No! I decided then and there that I only really “need” two things before setting out for a run:
1) Running shoes
2) Something to cover my loins. A “loincloth,” if you will
I set off with an extra bounce in my step and a goofy grin on my face. I’d found a road I’d never run on before that looked fun on the map… it followed a canal and was aptly named “Canal Road.” It was awesome. It wasn’t really that warm out, and I’m sure I looked like a weirdo to the passing cars and jacket-wearing people walking their dogs, but who cares? I just ran for the fun of it, going out of my way to stomp through fallen leaves like a 6-year old, and not caring how fast/far I was going. It was a good reminder that sometimes it’s best to just run for the joy of running. I think Baloo was on to something!