Running in the Dark


I’m going to place running on a trail in the dark, as one of the scariest things to do.

I’m my mind, every rustle in the bushes could be a mountain lion ready to pummel me in an instant. Every black mass could be a moose ready to stampede me at any moment. Every white…what the fuck is that?!

Oh, just a sign on the trail.

Running in the dark can make a grown man freak the hell out. But once I emerged out of a black forest darker than the night sky, the fear melted away and bliss opened up. A pre dawn sky filled with countless stars and the Bighorn mountains silhouetted the distant background like a backdrop of a Broadway show.

The windchill pricked my face at every possible chance but it only seemed to enhanced the stage I ran across.

Finishing a run before your neighbors wake up brings an appreciation few experience. Finishing a run before the sun wakes up brings out a gratefulness for life itself and an acknowledgement that so few get to feel that pure and simple understanding.

I can’t think of a better way to begin a new day and it almost makes it impossible to have a bad day. It sets the tone for how you handle the ups and downs that life presents.

I don’t think I’ve settled into a new job as quickly as I did today on my first day at the newspaper. Once I got past awkwardly standing around waiting for people to show up (I was the second to arrive. An intern was the first) and getting over the nerves of people listening to me make phone calls, I felt comfortable and right at home.

My boss’s wife offered a place for me to spend Christmas, which was perfect because I was planning on being by myself. I was given a Canon camera to complement my writing assignments and was even given a key to the office. Lunch was paid for and I savored a veggie sandwich on fresh herb dill bread from a local cafe.

One of my two stories I wrote a few weeks ago for my test to be hired, was published in the paper today. Seeing my name in print was gratifying and it was also a surprise because I forgot about writing them.

I was worried that sitting at a desk all day would dig up old feelings of feeling caged and chained up. Then I realized that if I wasn’t there, I would be spending my day the exact same way, reading and writing.

I know it was only my first day, but I enjoyed it.

7 thoughts on “Running in the Dark

  1. Jim Brennan

    Congrats on the new job, Joey, and your first newspaper article–so cool! Sounds like you are in a great environment, which is so important. Each experience in life prepares you for what you ultimately become, so savor it and learn all you can. I worked construction for twenty years before I worked in an office and was a caged lion. That’s where running comes in useful. I’d run early in the morning too (and often at night too.) It grounds you, centers you, and helps you settle at the desk peacefully to write thoughtfully. Happy Holidays to you.


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