Lift your head up…

The Cove, Stamford, CTThis photo was taken on my run this morning.  Yes, I know, “Amateur hour” and completely unremarkable (borderline trash).  I took me a bit to post it as my mind raced to the incredible photographers that I follow and the word association games that I play to keep going…Bill Pevlor (Mother Earth)…Tracie Louise (Surreal)…David Wetzel (Photographer, Painter, Writer), Robert Santafede (Pause), Vicky Taylor-Hood (Home)…and many others I’ve neglected to mention.

Yet, this photo is remarkable to me in other ways. Here’s the journey on the run this morning.

I set Mr. Endomondo to the workout mode of “Beat Yourself” – competing against my time from last Sunday.  (Endomondo destroyed me yesterday by a whopping 3 minutes.  Heat.  Humidity.  Excuses.  Stack them up. I can’t use yesterday as a base line. That’d be cheating…)

I strap on my Garmin GPS.  (You just don’t know when you’ll need the back-up.)

5:42 am.  I hit the start/go buttons on my gadgets.  And down the road we go. (LaDona is training for a half marathon in Victoria, B.C.  The least I can do is get 5 miles in before the thermometer hits 90°F.)

I’m less than 1/2 mile out, and Endomondo tells me that I’m 16 minutes ahead of Friday’s pace.  (Argggghhhhhhhh.  I must have pressed the WRONG button.  BAD Endomondo!  Here’s exactly why you have a contingency plan.) 

I glance down at my reliable Garmin and it’s pumping along…(OK, nothing lost here.  Stay the pace.  Chill.  It will all be OK.  Breath in.  Breath out.)

(Clank)

Rex-x is talking to me from the post this morning: “I learn more about life when I’m in it.”

I look up and see a beautiful sunrise.  (I should take a picture.  But if I stop and fumble with my iPhone, it will slow my time.  And, what exactly are you racing to or for?  Your Time? For what?)   

I keep running. I glance down at my Garmin.  Making good time.  I shut off Endomondo because he keeps telling me that I’m 23 minutes ahead of my pace…and my pace is improving with each step…aggravating me.  (Do you know that you have never just stopped? Stopped and paused. You’ve never taken a picture on your run.  Forget the picture.  You’ve never just stopped for the sake of stopping.)

I keep running.  Keeping pace.  The sun is now climbing. (You cut yourself up just for stopping.  You’ve never even thought about sitting on that bench in front of the sound to look at the water, the birds, the sunrise.  Take 5 minutes to lift your head up.  GET IN LIFE…)

I keep running.  I pass by the bench.  (My mind is now chattering, banging.  BANGING.  JUST STOP! FOR GOD’S SAKE MAN, JUST STOP!)

I look down at Garmin.  3.2 miles.  Ahead of my pace.

I stop. I take the picture.  The unremarkable picture you see above.  That is so remarkable to me.

I resume my run.

I finish my run…40 seconds ahead of last Sunday’s pace.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu.  604 BC – 531 BC)


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Comments

  1. I think it’s one of the most beautiful photos I’ve seen (read about) in a long time. Well done.

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  2. It’s not that easy to take a picture of the sun or the moon and have the rest of the photo come out right. Looks like a beautiful morning. You were out there at the right time. I see people running in midday and think they must be nuts.

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  3. Awesome David! I love the story…stop and breathe life in just for that moment as who knows what the next will bring!

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  4. Bloody endomondo! I rocked my 7 mile ride and shaved almost 2 minutes off my pr thanks to my son’s faster bike — or at least I thought I did until I read your story! 😀

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  5. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    🙂 I’m with you on the timing thing, Dave. If I think I can better my time there’s no way I’m stopping for anything so noble as enjoying nature.
    And 90 degrees? 32.2 Celsius. Nasty. Now I’m thinking – if you can run 5 MILES (8k) in that heat, what was my problem yesterday, dying after 10k at a mere 23 C (73.4). I’m a wimp. Gotta get back out there and try again.

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  6. It was 73F. I couldn’t touch 90…we’re in same place on the heat tolerance thermometer.

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  7. It’s a beautiful photo, David. It immediately brings to my mind that wonderful slience that prevails in the early morning hours–just the birds and perhaps an occasional, lone dog bark. There’s something about being out at this time of the morning that cleanses my soul. I love being out with the dogs at this hour. You’ve given me a powerful reminder that I need to be in that moment more often, rather than just sailing through to get to the next task at hand. Thank you….

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  8. Thank you for the photo. We self edit life to such a great extent that by the time we figure out the simple is the spectacular, it’s too late. There is nothing about a sunrise that’s ordinary to me.

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  9. richardkanigan says:

    This is good. You should lay down in the grass next to Shamu and look at the wonderful cherries in the tree!

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  10. Excellent photo: worth the run!

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  11. I’m a little concerned about the relationships that you’re developing with Endomondo…you take this glorious, peaceful picture while Endomondo is imploring you to keep up the pressure! Hmmm

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