I think of myself as a runner. Always have, since I first started “jogging” in 1975. Running is a key part of my lifestyle and sense of well-being. I say “I went for a run this morning.” I keep a running log which details how far and where I run, how I felt. I look forward to the next day’s run.
In the eighties there was much debate about definitions for “runner” vs “jogger.” The latter moved at a pace slower than eight minutes per mile, or so said Bill Rodgers.
Arbitrary. Yet under that definition, I qualified as a runner.
But if I’m honest, now that I’m in my sixties, I’m no longer a runner, especially on trails. I’m not running that fast. Instead, I’m sauntering.
Thank you, John Muir, for pointing that out to me.
Because I love sauntering. The mountain trails I play on with my dogs are my holy land, my sanctuary, and my spiritual guide, along with nature. I prefer moving at the pace the trail dictates, absorbing the sights, sounds, smells and wildlife along the way, taking photos of scenes that catch my eye.
I quit looking at my watch during my runs long ago. I quit calculating minutes per mile, or worrying about total time spent covering a particular distance.
Who cares? Not me, not any more, although I once did.
Talk about feeling freed from self-imposed chains!
I hate to think how much I would miss seeing were I focused solely on speed and pace.
Give sauntering a try, wherever you go. Muir on was on to something…
Featured image: who knew a dandelion could be so gorgeous when gone to seed in the forest?