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Running & playing

September 27, 2010

Having fun on the run. Runner's: Ultra trail running friends Kyle Skaggs and Anton Krupicka. Photo credit: New Balance

My inner smile arrives after only 5–10 seconds into the run. It comes from the sensation of moving, moving lightly, bouncing on the forefeet, trying to get a feel for what kind of run it will be today. The rain has stopped, for now. I decide to face the bull eye to eye – without force, without fear, so I aim for the highest hill. In other words, the prologue of this run is dramatic with a view of the city from “Medicin mountain”, a dear and beautiful spot where I never, ever have met another runner. Imagine Caspar David Friedrich’s famous painting Wanderer above the sea of fog, but with hustle and bustle of the city below. Inspired by a morning with Pavarotti and occasional sunbeams I’m heading into the trees, scrambling the rocks outside the windows of a sciene lab, descending a steep grassy slope, cutting short a secluded churchyard lawn. I like the intro: daring and bracing. Rising high and flying.

We move deeper into Nature, away from aspalt, streets and man-made noice. The grey-white sky and trees reflected in plentiful brown puddles scattered along the forgotten tiny trails, mostly used by wild animals. My shoes are soon completely soaked and legs covered with mud splatter. Speeding up – just to get a feel for speed. Riding the trail like if it was a wild horse.

Slowing down a little bit later. Walking. Stopping. Standing still. Old raindrops jump to their destiny from leaf to leaf. Birds converse singing openly for everyone in the neighbourhood to hear. I listen and see the ripening colors of autumn everywhere I turn, slowly passing silent, secrative birch trees, hearing the ground moan under my feet. But I’m finished with the trail for now. Time to go off-trail, time to tread into nature without directions. This is different. Much more sensitive. Adaptable. Flexible. Using my hands to climb. Using my senses.

This is when it happens, when the run comes alive, when the joy of being present present itself in the form of play. Suddenly I start playing while running, like I was surfing or skiing: jumping, improvising, floating with nature and having fun. Chosing directions based on feeling, almost singing, definitely dancing. I’m all goose bumps now, running with a BIG smile, between the trees. This is running happiness. I’m spreading my arms, flying. Crossing a small stream, with it’s hypnotic sound. Chosing a narrow black trail surrounded with flouroscent green moss and dwarf pines.

The running happiness follows me all the way home. The lightness. The effortless stride. The inner smile. Finishing with running backwards steep uphill with a jazz dance rhytm in my body.

It was another good run.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2010 12:33

    I used to sometimes go for walks on that mountain while I was a doctoral student in that science building! Thanks for inspiration – I just came home from a good run too after reading your blog this morning!

    • fredrikolmqvist permalink*
      September 30, 2010 7:27

      Then you know! At first it doesn’t look like a place for running, but it’s all in the mind. You can actually run almost everywhere, most people just doesn’t realize it.

  2. September 27, 2010 15:45

    You are a poet but people who listen to Pavarotti often are.

    • fredrikolmqvist permalink*
      September 30, 2010 7:23

      Talking about poetry, I’m carrying of one of my favourite poets to my outdoor “office” in the forest: Robert Bly who writes wonderfully about nature, humans, life, being…

  3. September 30, 2010 5:02

    Sprang för första gången Lidingöloppet och jag hade en riktig Fredrik-runda. Jag njöt av allt det fina runt omkring och hur skönt det var att vara ute i höstluften, hur bra det gick att springa och vad fantastiskt det var att jag “bara” sprungit i 2,5 år och nu kan jag springa 3 mil..🙂

    • fredrikolmqvist permalink*
      September 30, 2010 7:18

      Congrats, you have found the pleasure and beauty of running! Now explore it! There are many layers to unfold, facets to discover, many steps and breaths to remind you where you are Now.

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