Baptism

I ran tonight.

I’ve been seriously neglectful of my running schedule, and with only sixty days to go until the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, I have to get back into the swing of things.

So I ran. I ran without contact lenses and so the questioning looks of passersby went unacknowledged. I ran with headphones in and music turned up and so the sarcasm of pedestrians went unheeded. I ran against myself and with myself.

It rained as I began, a misty drizzle in the gloom of twilight. The further I ran, the heavier the rain fell. Perhaps this was the source of scorn for those observing me. I didn’t care. I welcomed the rain, the cold droplets pounding against my arms, legs and head, rivulets running into my eyes, almost blinding me.

I welcomed the rain as an old friend. Some may be put off running in the rain, but I enjoy it. When I ran the BUPA 10,000 in 2008 it rained hard for the whole race, and I loved it.

Running is my confession, the crucible that burns away my doubts, fears and iniquities. And the rain is my baptism, cleansing me of my sins and bringing me wholeness and peace.

There is no-one else when I run, there is only me, one step after the other, feet pounding off the hard asphalt, legs becoming heavier, lungs burning, the road stretching out ahead with only the clock and my own will to beat.

I ran tonight. And my soul runs still.

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