Monday, October 4, 2010

A Natural Detox

One thing I have learned; my life flows a lot more smoothly when I am consistently running.  It is not simply the exercise that is so uniquely beneficial, as there are a million more exciting things you can do to get a workout.  There is just something very therapeutic and meditative about long distance running.  You can thing about nothing and everything at the same time, and will often come up with answers and ideas to the current crop of life's challenges.

It was a rare rainy day in Los Angeles this morning, welcome after last week's record high temperatures, and it was deeply refreshing.  It made everything smell, look and feel clean, which is not easy to do in the middle of a bustling city.  I made my usual run, stepping out the back of my apartment complex into the alley where I watched a man get shot two weeks ago, and jogged down the main boulevard until I could get to a quieter side street.  From there, I headed west towards the ocean.
The boardwalk was mostly deserted, and I did not have to make my usual dodging and diving shuffle around crowds of dog-walkers and baby strollers.  Dark and heavy clouds sat over the Pacific Ocean, giving the coastline a very bleak and forbidding appearance. 
After my run, I walked down to the water, stripped to shorts and waded in.  The water looked like it would be freezing, but it was still quite warm from last week's heat wave.  I ducked my head under, and then I rode a couple waves into shore.  Like everything else within view, I felt clean, alert and revived from the soaking.

As has become customary, I walked back home barefoot.  Dan says that walking barefoot sometimes hurts, like when you stumble upon something sharp, and sometimes feels good, like when you walk on soft moss, but it is kind of like life that way.  When I first started walking home like this, the hot asphalt would burn the bottoms of my toes, and they would cut and bleed.  Now, hard callous has taken the place of soft blisters, and I walk easily up these same streets.


linda said...

Looks so quiet and peaceful.

XoxoEjh said...

Love the pics Martin.... Makes me wish I was at the beach instead of stuck indoors...

Alison said...

Running in rain is ace, in drizzle is perfect, making Autumn rhe best season for it.
Indeed my one and only non-profane thought on the weather here today was a brief "well at least it'll be nice to run in". And then i continued cursing the dim dark dampness.

Venom said...

My favourite part is the swimming afterwards, I'm not gonna lie.

Anonymous said...

Running on a daily basis helps me focus for the upcoming day or de-stress from the day. My days no longer feel as complete if I don't go out for a run.
I'd love to be able to do my daily runs by the beach. But I'm in the Pacific NW so I get the woods :).

Sam said...

I love your writing style; this was really beautiful! You're so lucky to live so close to the ocean.. I'm jealous. I'm in Missouri far, far away from the coast :)

Martin said...

Linda - It was actually quite loud and stormy. Today was even more so. I am enjoying the weather though.

Erika - Outside is always better

Alison - Ace, indeed. Jolly good comment, guv!

Venom - Because I said "strip?"

Jasmine Tea - I love trail runs in the forest. Too bad we cant trade 1-2days a week.

Sam - Thank you for the nice comment

Bryan Schatz said...

My natural detox is coffee. Lots of it. :) Nice post by the way. It inspired me to get off my ass and run that past two mornings.