Four years ago, I rediscovered a love of running. It was something I began doing my junior and senior year of high school but then stopped as I got older. That all changed in April 2014 when I had to pick up my sister's car at Mercy Hospital from my father's condo in Brickell. I decided, why not run it? It's only 2 miles or so. I remember feeling so energized and full of life (and extremely sweaty) after I ran it. Something clicked and reignited in me. From then on, I continued running every other day. First, I'd run to Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez remixes on Pandora radio. But after attending an Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra meditation session at the AmericanAirlines Arena a few months later, I discovered their 21-day meditations. For some reason, I began running to the meditations. I still do. It makes 21 minutes or 42 minutes (if I do two back to back) fly by. My mind is centered, focused on the mantra and thought of the day even though my cardiovascular system is pumping fast and hard on all cylinders. I've been so relaxed in this meditative zone that I have gotten lost. (I have fallen a few times as a result.) There is a freedom to running that makes you want to keep going and going. All my stresses seem to melt away during those 20 to 30 minutes. And whatever issue was bothering me before the run seems so distant, smaller, and clearer after my body begins to cool down.
The race gave me such a good feeling of accomplishment that I decided to do it again this year. But instead of running to an Oprah-Chopra meditation, I played some up beat music (ABBA's Dancing Queen, Super Trouper, a Cuban dance song called Quimbombo and Prince's You Got The Look.) Since I knew the route this time around, I ran it faster, weaving in between the other runners. I stayed on the outer edges of the crowds so I could have a clear path. I felt like I was flying. Whoosh! And once again, when I reached the track, I knew the end was near. All this good energy coursed through my body and fueling me to the finish line. Maybe it was the change in music or that I am now a better runner, but I surprisingly shaved off 2:20 minutes from my time last year. I plan to do the Turkey Trot each year from now on and perhaps some other runs. I'm learning that it can be fun to run with a group of strangers who all have the same goal, crossing the finish line.
Below are the photos from this year's run. I'm the one on the right :)