Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hootin' Owl

Walking out the door this morning, and it was a fine morning, I heard Mr. Owl calling on Mrs. Owl. By the sound of things, I'm guessing Mrs. Owl didn't resist the 5 a.m. "Hoooo's" from our neighborhood Barry White of Birds? But I didn't stick around for the fireworks. I had a five-mile run planned.

No, I didn't think about stimulus packages - owls' or federal - on this morning's run. I had other things to process. First, I listened to other birds who warmed their vocal chords, preparing to greet the soon-to-rise sun. Then, I realized how good I was feeling early in the morning. Running at a 9:15/mile pace, I was thrilled I felt so strong from the get-go. As RFD visitors know, this isn't always the case on early morning runs. Smart Jim resisted the temptation to floor it.

Yes, this was a morning to reflect as I often do and appreciate my life while tactfully tacking on training miles. Soon, I thought about something I heard yesterday morning when I had decided to check out an early morning prayer session at a remote work site I visit often. The pastor who spoke was Hispanic, a former gang member who lost two brothers to violence before he decided to join the military and then lead a life of holiness. He was one of those fiery preachers, the kind I normally don't embrace. But he was funny and believable. He preached humility. Several people in the room who are dealing with a good deal of conflict were attentive, to say the least.

So was I. Reading and applying scripture, this pastor left an impression. I realized I'm not praying enough. I remind myself periodically to humble myself before God, but I realized I need to do more of it. Others seemed to be equally perceptive.

In the darkness, my run continued; before long, I neared Mile Four, feeling no stress from the run. Soon, however, my achilles tendon began to ache more than it usually does. I thought, "Darn, I need to go see a therapist soon." That discomfort, though, could not ruin this good run and introspection.

After a stretch and walk with Pepper, Dori and I do what we normally do between 6 and 6:30 before the kids join us for breakfast - talk. After a good morning jaunt, conversing with my wife, survivor of cancer and role model to many, is something I cherish like few others. I snuck up on a smiling Dori and hugged her from behind as she prepared breakfast and the kids' lunches. I will end by telling you this: Her smile is a big reason I married her, and it's the same smile I spotted the first time more than 16 years ago. It's the smile of a good woman.

Now that's 90 minutes anyone can appreciate, all starting with a hoot and good run.

1 comment:

PJ said...

Nice post, Jim. I nominate you for Best Literary Running Blog.