This morning I went out to the Greenbelt for the first time since the blizzard in late January. I have been spending much of my time running aimless loops around the neighborhood, with occasional jaunts out for a longer loop here and there. While I have been able to maintain my fitness, these excursions have been less than exciting and quite tedious. I have gotten to know my neighbor’s comings and goings quite well and I suppose I have become quite the fixture in my little town.
At any rate I put on some decidedly upbeat music and headed to the trailhead parking lot right by Dauphin County prison. Setting both my gps watch and strava on my phone, I started off at a pace completely unrealistic to where I am physically at this time. In running, as in life, the unrealistic seems quite doable for a short while before reality sets in. I think of the promise of the future and the endless possibilities of life. All I have to do is try hard and maintain a steady pace. Just a little bit of steady effort is all it will take, and I’ll be right where I need to be. A few extra cups of coffee in the morning is all I need and I my life will get turned right around. I need to do more with my life, I need more friends, and I need to continue my education. And then reality to starts to set in and I drastically downgrade my pace expectations and also my mileage expectations for the day. Hey, that’s not too bad. I can totally live with that. And then the thoughts become much more mundane and I start thinking about what I am going to eat for lunch as opposed to what I am going to accomplish in my life.
The rest of the run was pretty much unremarkable until when I was almost done I came across a guy taking pictures by the river. He smiled and took a few of me as I was approaching. I smiled back and said “good morning” and he said”hey, you wanna make some extra money?” I had no response as I ran past and mulled over this request. How much and what in particular was being requested? The man did have a Nikon, so I imagine it would be a reasonable offer. I briefly thought of turning around and getting the specifics. For someone who questions their own self worth as much as me, I was of course curious as to where that rock-bottom worth really lies. But alas, the answer to this question was to elude me today as I had to get back to my car and get to work. Rest assured, though, next time I will be prepared and will find out. And as I slowed down at the end of my run my thoughts were no longer on the great heights I can attain and strive for in my life, but rather how much I could get for a few illicit moments behind some shrubbery by the river.