by Javon Adams

EPMD’s Erick Sermon has an oft quoted line from their classic song, ‘You Got’s to Chill”. As the beat drops he opens the song in what became a trademark lisp, ‘ Relax your mind, let your conscience be free…’ As a runner those are the moments that I live for, when I am not thinking of prospecting for the next pressure washing job, brainstorming on the next song or thinking about ways to improve my efficiency at my 9 to 5. While slow at the end, my Saturday run allowed me to lose myself in my run.

When I have limited time to run I have two go to spots that I find convenient. They are Out and Backs. If I had my druthers, I would choose a loop and have a more robust rotation. Saturdays and Sundays often afford me the time to revisit some of my favorite trails or explore new ones. So, after my radio partner and I wrapped up our Saturday radio show I dropped my laptop at home and drove out to White Tank Mountain Regional Park. My trail or choice  was the Sonoran Loop Competitive Track. 

I set my Garmin to Play All Songs and set off on my journey. I felt good as my truck became smaller in the distance. The backdrop of the mountains and the well kept dirt trail were just what the doctor ordered. As I alternated between running and walking, my mind was not consumed with tasks to be completed. I was relaxed. I was challenged by the terrain and throughout the 6.5 miles I pushed myself and made mental notes of what to do differently with fueling. But I was calm.

There are always things you can do better on a run. Or at least that is what I find. Next time I will change up the fuel I use and I might even upload some additional songs on the Garmin but I am feeling better mentally and physically. Stretching before runs has helped and understanding that I do not need to compare myself to others (or even my former self from 3 years ago). 

I am thankful for the ability to run. Thankful for the good paces and the bad. Thankful that I running does not demand perfection. Thankful that on the really good days I am able to ‘relax my mind and let my conscience be free’.

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