I am back to my early morning runs in the streets of my suburban village at last. Over the past week, I had been running in the late evening but missed my early mornings, a time that enabled me to get my days started off with meditation and empowerment. This morning, the air was cold, the sky clear as I was off in a new Nike “Swoosh” sweatshirt that was neon yellow for increased visibility. I also managed to find a great pair of insulated running gloves that keep my hands toasty along the trails.
The clear sky and the bright moon enabled me to see the waves along the Lake as I ran. I found that I needed a bit more of a warm-up but once my muscles were warm, I ran fast and strong in the cold air. There wasn’t much of a wind, always happy about that but I didn’t feel the usual chest tightness of my cold-induced asthma this morning. The crunch of the leaves under my feet, the raccoons skittering across the road were welcome company as I passed my usual spots.
There are parts of the second-half of my run that are just my favorite locations. After I move off the Lake beach sand, I run past a sharp curve and into one of the many neighborhoods in my little village. These are my favorite locations because the streets change rapidly; my mind has little time for boredom with the rapid street turns as I make my way back to the railroad crossing that signals entry into my neighborhood. When I round my very sharp curve; through the woods and into my first neighborhood, I am generally happy and know that I will complete the run with strength. This morning was no exception.
I thought about the results of the Presidential election of two days ago. To say that I am deeply disappointed in the results would be accurate but I am feeling more empowered than ever. I recognize the challenges that lay ahead for me as a physician who will advocate for my patients, as a professor who will advocate for my students and as a friend who will advocate for those who are important in my life.
The election results were a source of discussion at last evening’s Evensong with a call from the Bishop for reconciliation and unity with those whose political opinions differ from our own political beliefs. Well Bishop, I am not ready for reconciliation with those who would devalue me, kill me and deport me. I am not going to reconcile with those who will destroy this planet for greed. I will not accept this new President and I will do everything in my power to defend those he would marginalize and hurt: the poor, those of color; women and children. Nope, no reconciliation for me because the target on my back got larger on Tuesday night.
On my 3:00AM run, I remembered why I was out there. I was out there for my health and my strength. I run for me and for the things that I am able to do, some that few others are able to accomplish. I run to express my gratitude for being able to take every step along the way. I run to examine the thoughts and fears inside my head; the fears dissipating with every step I take. I run because I can run and will keep running. This I do at 3:00AM when the rest of the world sleeps. I am a ninja!