The morning of December 25 is one of my favorite days to strap running shoes onto my feet and delight in frosty air filling my lungs. We’re a Christmas breakfast sort of family, so a run must take place plenty early so as not to disturb the natural order of traditions. I tend to rise just after the pitter-patter of reindeer has left the building to avoid the stink-eye from my mom, and to have enough time to not stink as we sip mimosas and munch on coffee cake.
This year, I my brother offered to join me on my run. We haven’t run together in a long time, and I’m the first to admit he’s a far superior athlete than I in every way and shape, with the exception of flip turns whilst swimming and cartwheels (though I firmly believe this is only for lack of trying). As we started off, he mused, “You know, I haven’t run in four months, since we were in Santa Barbara together.” An outsider would not have known this, though, since he pranced beside me, bored enough at times to to basketball hip-swivel drills, or run in cross-cross patterns up hills.
Home is a lot colder than Orange County, to be sure, and has a variety of landscape that cannot be beat. I did not realize just how acclimated I was to a consistent sixty-three degree climate and an endless flat terrain until I was upon my old stomping ground. Without my usual bounce, I plowed through the mountainous hills sans complaint, except for my frozen-to-the-core hands; my brother, in a very chivalrous gesture, offered me his shirt to muffle my hands in.
I have missed the air in my lungs that feels fresh and harsh, a wake-up call every day. The city-scape in the distance, the diverse hillside foliage, the non-stop conversation were all taken for granted, and are certainly lacked in my current homestead. Running at home felt like being at home, and reinforced a homesickness I had almost forgotten about as I have explored my new city.
In any event, the run was glorious, the company was fantastic, and the breakfast, friends and family that awaited our return were certainly beyond description of the highest form.