Wind runner

Sometimes when I can’t get myself to run, I pretend I’m someone else.

On a wet windy day like yesterday, I pretend I’m my son’s old cross country coach, who once told me that the most exhilarating race he ever ran was the windiest.

Or I imagine I’m this blogger whose name I forget but whose daring runs in the Alaskan winters seared my mind then and now.

More recently I meditate on this Runner’s World essay about a guy who deals with the windy Nebraska plains by emulating a hawk, playing in the wind rather than struggling against it.

I slip inside the images conjured up in my head and run a mile in that other runner’s shoes, and I’m no longer grinding down this same old gravel road but battling the elements on a much more interesting course under much more exciting conditions.

Sometimes I imagine being all three at once, weaving together the disparate personas into a character I call Wind Runner.

In my own private Genesis, just saying those words makes it so.

And then I head out into the wind, and on the outside I may be this 53-year-old plodder, but on the viewscreen in my head I’m running in a magical space all my own, and it is a glorious day indeed.

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