The run

I like running. I was no natural runner, but one thing I do take pride in is for the past one year, I have kept the promise of running at least a mile every alternate day. Come rain or shine, that has been the schedule, and believe me when I say this, you do see benefits. You think clearer, you breathe easier, it is easier to catch the bus, or the train. It is a different feeling to trot back home at 9 in the evening, with nothing but the patter of the autumn drizzle for company. It is a tough commitment to keep nonetheless. The weather becomes a big deterrent, especially when the gale force wind sets in. But the reward at the end of the circuit is that extra endorphin rush of having heaved one’s backside regardless - it feels like flipping off the English weather.

Yesterday was no different. The trees announced the wind from time to time, like a nagging, intermittent software update reminder. Nevertheless, on went the phones on my head, and off I set. From the opposite side of the road, I saw a middle aged man, maybe not much older than myself. He was in full running attire, complete with gloves. From his gait and exertion, I could gather he had perhaps started just a couple of months back, and was getting close to getting his form. We exchanged glances at about a hundred yards apart. There was an initial hesitation, much like that between old friends who cross paths in a decade and aren’t sure if the other remembers them. While I am not quite the person who says hello to fellow trekkers, but for some reason, I felt compelled to give him a nod and a thumbs up, as if to say - dude, great work getting off your ass, and giving the weather the finger.

A smile materialized across his mug as he reciprocated. But what happened next was more impressive. The sense of exertion that was so visible across his face gradually dissappeared. His arms which were drooping in strain, seemed to tauten. His legs which were straggling, gained second wind. He jogged past, making the most of his renewed rhythm. And somehow, I was not too surprised to find his rhythm resonate with mine, with a smile to boot - as I jogged away.