Lost in the Forest

I am an aggressively average runner.

Let me explain.

I run with a lot of heart. I love the challenge, the ridiculous high produced from both pain and pleasure, the sense of accomplishment felt when sweat drips from your pores. Running makes me feel as though I’m on the brink of ecstasy, the edge of something great, but as I’ve already stated, I’m pretty mediocre. (First cross country meet: 20th out of 40.)

Still, my “ordinary talent” for running doesn’t stop my love of the sport. Running in new places is one of my favorite activities. It’s the ultimate form of exploration and adventure.

Yesterday, I went for a run in Hillerød, the location of my home away from home (a.k.a. homestay) in Denmark. The sun was shining, a rare occurrence, and there was no wind, also a rare occurrence, so I sped off towards the forest.

I ran without a map. There were no directions, no places I had to be. It was pure freedom and delight. I listened to the tap of my sneakers on the dirt path, the cool earth, and looped around a small, serene lake. I couldn’t see any cars. I couldn’t see a single soul. Slippery, green moss spread across rough bark. Trees and a coat of dead leaves surrounded me. The forest was the closest to home I’d felt since being abroad. Running through it felt familiar, like I was running through my backyard in rural Pennsylvania. I was reminded of the quiet, terrific power of nature.

The sun began to set and the sky turned into a cocktail drink, a mix of orange and pink. I couldn’t remember what twists and turns I had taken, but I eventually made it back home without any major problems.

There is magic in the ordinary. Magic in the mundane. You just have to be brave enough to chase it.

So drop your phone. Lace up your sneakers. Go for a run and don’t look back.

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