One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to stop running the same route and to mix things up a bit. As I have shared before, since moving to the city, I’ve been reluctant to venture outside of my comfort zone because dodging people down a busy street doesn’t contribute to those feel-good-feelings I usually associate with running. I’m determined that 2018 is the year I venture off the usual path and up into streets I’ve never run before.
Whether I get lost or not is irrelevant (Google Maps can help me there) – I just need to get off the same fucking path I’ve been running over and over for about eighteen months. What better day to start than January 1st 2018?
I laced up my new trainers and started my usual route before taking a detour up a road I had often looked at but never run down. I had no idea where I was going but I chose to follow my gut/instinct/intuition to see where it would lead me.
After a while, I came upon a road I recognised and then turned down another lane which I didn’t even know existed. Before long, I found myself in a beautiful field with the Winter sun breaking through a wooded area. It was muddy as hell but, instead of taking the neat tarmac pavement, I took off down the well-worn grass track. Splashing through puddles and mud, in that moment, I was grateful for the solitude and the calmness of the place, something which I’d been craving since moving. I had no idea this place existed until I was lead there by nothing more than a gut feeling. I continued doing this little ‘follow your gut’ thing until I popped out near the end of my street and wound up home.
I can honestly say that it was the most fun I’ve had running in a long time. Usually I find it a chore but today it was an adventure. It was the anticipation of not knowing where the fuck I was going, but the delight of finding out how all the streets eventually connected to bring me home. And, of course, my trainers – which were brand new and clean on Christmas Day – were caked in mud. I aint even mad.
It got me thinking…and I realised that life, in general, isn’t about running the same path over and over and over again. We get bored and, when boredom creeps in, we get disillusioned and fall out of love with life. We get bitter and the things we once enjoyed become another chore on our never ending to-do list. Eventually, we zone out and stop participating altogether. We let things just happen and become disconnected with ourselves; we forget what it’s like to follow our hearts and bring our dreams to life.
We’re not meant to live like that. That’s not what life is about.
Instead, follow your heart; follow your instincts and your intuition. Follow that urge inside you that says ‘turn this way; trust me.’ Get off the well-worn, neatly laid path and turn off into the road you’ve often looked at but never had the courage to travel down. Listen to your soul’s longings and start to engage with life again – connect with your fucking soul and listen to the dreams that you buried long ago under the layers of disillusion caused by the same shit on repeat…
You’re not numb. Deep down, you do care. You still have those dreams in you, and you can still make them happen.
Say ‘fuck yes’ to the muddy paths and don’t be afraid to get your trainers dirty. It’s what life is all about. Trying new things, walking down different roads, enjoying the fucking unplanned surprises that life brings your way. Just stop planning and playing it safe; see what life has in store for you. When people look at the caked in mud on your feet and asked “where the fuck have you been?” you can reply with a smile on your face and say “let me tell you a story, you won’t believe what I’ve found…”
You’re the one in control of the paths you walk and the life you lead. Whatever you want, whatever is meant to be in your life, you have the power within you to make shit happen.
And, don’t worry – whatever path you follow, and wherever it takes you, your heart will always lead you to a place you can call home.