(written immediately upon returning from run…no editing…no over-thinking  ;-p)

A few things happened tonight and I felt compelled to write immediately…  This evening, I went for a jog with my three-legged wonder pup, Bailey.  He and I both are out of shape.  We’ve spent the winter doing lots of down dogs and child’s pose ;0), enjoying gentle short strolls, and eating healthy.  We have not, however, done any running in months.  Twice in the last week, I took us for a jog.  We were both winded after ten minutes.  We both expressed our defeat on our faces – his with lolling tongue, mine with furrowed brow.

Tonight was different, though.  The air was different…the feel was different…we were different…but we were more ourselves.

I was going to cancel my jog tonight.  I taught a free yoga class at my chiropractor’s office and the session ran long.    Then, the other chiro who doesn’t usually adjust me, did adjust me today.  She was awesome!  I felt great.  I felt relaxed and aligned.  I asked her if I should just let the adjustment settle or if going for a run as I planned would be ok.  She said if I felt energetic, go for a run; if I felt relaxed, don’t.  I felt relaxed…plus, it was already dark out, which meant I could only run in my neighborhood, which falls in the “lame” category for scenery.

But when I got home, Bailey bounced to the door to greet me. I fastened his blue collar around his neck, carefully avoiding his long luxurious Cocker Spaniel ears hanging in the way, and we stepped outside.  “aaaaahhhh” I inhaled the early evening air.  I love this time of night.  It feels like summer here even though it’s Ohio, and it’s March.  About 8pm…about 75 degrees…about perfect.

When we were kids, this was the time of day my brother, Matt, and I always used to run.  We’d dart out the front door of any one of the numerous houses we grew up in, and he’d set the pace.  I’d chase him for a while, but being four years my senior, he’d leave me in the dust soon enough.  It was a game sometimes, though.  We often ran different routes every time, but I’d manage to follow his trail.  We loved to run.  We did it every day and thrived off the movement, the breath, the flight we took on our adolescent feet too big for our toothpick legs.

Tonight, as I ran, I looked down at Bailey.  His characteristic doggy “I love running” smile stretched from floppy ear to floppy ear.  He looked majestic.  When he walks, he hops; he has only three legs after all.  But when runs, he is smooth.  He is like the doggy version of Seabiscuit.  The vets said he’d never be able to run the way he runs today. But with one look at this furry fellow and you can tell he is in a state of pure bliss.

His smile is contagious.  It’s on my face now.  Then, the expression spreads to my mind…the memories of my brother and I that I just described then flooded my mind.  My smile grew even bigger.  I miss my brother.  He’s lived in Peru for about seven years.  My mind trails off for a bit…

I return to the moment.    I love the way the nocturnal air feels on my bare arms.  I love that I finally feel aligned.  I love that I feel light again.  This may not last.  I may not feel this way tomorrow when I run.  “But I feel this way now,” I think.  Somehow, my smile gets bigger, and all I think, as I take one more glance down at my pogo pup is, “We run because we love running…we run ‘cause we want to.”