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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Enjoy Your Soundtrack

I run in the early morning these days, by myself. This is one of the outcomes of starting a family, and like most of these outcomes can be unexpectedly wonderful. This morning I was on top of Makara Peak after 45minutes of tempo runnning with a thick sweat and a view to die for. The cyclone was far out to sea to the west and it had left the sky wrung out. What clouds there were left were creased and frayed and lit by a fiery morning sun. The familiar folds of the land were all lit different shades of grey and green. From Kapiti to the Orongorongas the day was coming quickly and below me near the harbour the city was starting to wake up.

I know when I am fit, both physically and mentally when I can truly enjoy running. When I can both build a sweat and let my mind wander and traverse new ground. When the soundtrack is soaring and varied, rather than a tired repetitive burp...mulling over work, or relationships, or whatever. Don't dwell on shit.

I have a poem that comes back to me at times when I am particularly at one with the trail, and with my surrounds. It is a lesser known poem by James K Baxter.

Getting Stoned on the Night Air

The long night fills the streets with fog
And the garages are wind-blown tombs

Under the leaves of the plane trees where I run
Lifting and dropping my arms like a bird

This mad night - so peaceful, so dark and so open,
That the sea might easily flow over the land

Or the hills crumble like sand into the river
Since the town is a bed where the young and the old sleep

In the sweetness of being - man, I don't need any
LSD to open the gate in the head

That leads into a land where men are birds
And Tanemahuta plays games with his children

I have even been known to raise my arms and soar down a hill when thinking about this poem. And  it is often followed  by a period shaking out  the legs and listening to my memory of Bob Dylans version of Knocking on Heavens Door and then maybe I will run hard up a hill just thinking about using my core muscles and then with an empty and clear mind perhaps something interesting will pop up for me to think about, or I will just think about how great it will be to get home and see my daughter who is always so stoked to see us after a long nights sleep.

Enjoy your soundtrack people. It is all too easy sometimes to let other stuff creep in there.

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