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.