Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Back to running

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The best part about where I live on the outskirts of Paris is that thereís a park along the Seine where I can run. This past winter, it was too dark for me to go running in the morning so I rarely went. I definitely felt the effect of not having my running schedule: not only did I feel lethargic, but also less inspired to write. It was almost as if my writing wasnít flowing unless my body was moving. For the past few months, I barely running once a week, but now Iím going a few times a week like I used to. I definitely feel like a new person now that Iím back to running again.

This morning, it took me a couple of minutes to run through a residential area and under the freeway overpass to reach the park. The sun was shining brightly with very few clouds in sight. I felt hopeful that spring had finally arrived.

There were only a few people running down the gravel path lined with trees. Even though I was listening to music, I could still hear the murmur of bateaux (boats) floating alongside me in the river. Every once in a while I caught a whiff of the flowers in the grassy area and on the trees as I ran by. The fragrance was so strong at times that I had to look to see which flowers they were.

I ran in a large loop and instead of running through the trees above the low hillside, I returned to the path along the Seine. I find it even more enjoyable running along the river.

Running feels like a luxury to me although it has now become a necessity. I get to fill my lungs with fresh air, clear out my head, and get back in my body. Itís also when I get inspired, receive new ideas, and feel a desire to write even more. I used to think that running was only for me stay in shape, but I have learned over the years that itís also vital for my mental and emotional state.

I find running helpful to ground me no matter where I am, but overall itís good for me no matter what. When Iím not running, itís difficult to get out of the house, but once I start, nothing stops me.

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