The human race


The happiness of the long-distance runner

Today’s schedule demanded an eleven kilometre run, but I rudely dismissed that as soon as I walked outside. It was glorious: a gentle breeze kept the heat comfortable and a bright cloudless sky ensured it was a day to remember. Today’s prize was simply to be alive.

I ran through marshland, past imperious ducks sitting on the ponds and lakes. I ran next to white sand beaches and black sand beaches, around the coast of a bay and along the side of a fjord. I saw volcanoes, mountains, and glaciers. I circled a golf course and watched people tee off. I saw wading birds wade and fishermen fish.

I ran past a pub drawing everyone in with its impromptu barbecue, the huge beef steaks sending delicious smells my way. I followed a cruise ship as it popped over the horizon and slowly made its way into port. I passed a small square hidden away on a side street filled with couples dancing the tango.

I just ran, ignored my body’s protestations, and enjoyed watching people do the same thing we’ve always done on a sunny day: tilt our heads to the sun and enjoy the company of friends, parents, and children. So here’s to us, the human race.