Sole to Soul Connect

I’ve just got another pair of Brooks running shoes, these are called Anthem – I didn’t name them, just bought them. Allow me a moment of shoe GEEKness… These shoes like the Pure Flows I normally  wear are low drop trainers. Which mean they’re almost flat, less heel if you will. This type of shoe gives a more natural ride and allows me a better mid strike with my form — More of a connected feel.

Enough Geek speak… Brooks has the word connect written on the inner sole and no truer words have been written — Not so much for the science of the shoe but running in general. The moment I lace up my running shoes and run out the door, I feel more connected to the earth and the world around me.

In Oriental medicine and the practice of Qui Gong in the center of your forefoot is the meridian point kidney one. A rooting point, where you ground and center yourself, absorb chi from the earth.

In the practice of martial arts, there is a mind body connection, just like there is in running. However you need to be mindfully aware of it. When we just go through the motions just for the exercise we lose so much of the true benefits. I guess this is why many people who take up running don’t enjoy it, they’ve never made the Sole to Soul Connect.

I know when I run I’m more in tuned to the world around me, there are baby rabbits, woodchucks, Osprey with a fish in their talons, tiny chipmunks trying to trip me, glorious skies, and too many floral scents to name. More importantly being among all this gives me a truer sense of my place in the world. My ego and self importance gets a comeuppance and I know that I’m connected to everything on this planet and no one being is more important than the next.

These sort of discoveries are why I run, I don’t know if I would be physically better or worse if I didn’t run.  I do know I’d be mentally less capable of managing stress and less spiritually evolved.

asphalt-clouds-endurance-421160I’ll close with a quote that speaks to connecting to the world; “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” W.B. Yeatts

How do you connect?

Run on G


Peace and Joy

I’m coming down from my soapbox — My last few posts have been rather pointed and for good reasons. However I’d like to get back to the “Joy of running”.

Fall is just around the corner, although it feels in full swing in my coastal neighborhood. Temperatures in the low 50’s and a gusty northwest wind made me adjust my Friday morning park run. Instead of running along the water I ran through the middle of the park and onto the wooded trails. I’d forgotten how much I love being in the woods (not fun in the heat and humidity with mosquitos) the grounding solitude running trails gives you is like no other running.

If I had to rank running surfaces, trails would be my favorite because it seems the most natural — Where it all began. It’s funny because my preferences reflect a progression from most natural to least; wooded trails, bike path, streets, tracks, and treadmills in that order.

My senses are definitely heightened because of the tricky surfaces, the occasional squirrel, rabbit, chipmunk or woodchuck dashing about. The air was clean with the crispness of the impending autumn even a few leaves have started to turn. It’s humbling to think about the history of this beautiful land and how blessed I am to be living here and now to enjoy running in this beautiful natural cathedral.

What was supposed to be a two mile training run turned into a 3.5 mile run/hike, which was fine by me because everything including the few wrong turns was perfect  — the way life should be experienced, with peace and joy!

Where do you find your running bliss?





Natural High…

Some runs are memorable for their time or distance others for the experience. Then there are those like today that are a Natural High. The run becomes more than physical exercise but an awakening – A Satori. When all of nature joins and suddenly you feel a part of the universe. Your senses become acute and you notice all the nuances of color and light. Birds seem to follow you, and a friendly squirrel races beside you in an alfalfa field. The breeze cools your skin and carries the musty scents of autumn. Nature sings through the babbling brook and the bird’s songs while your feet keep  rhythm as they hit the pavement.

I came away with a light heart and a lifted spirit today. This was a memorable run, a natural high – For this and everyday I’m truly blessed and grateful.



Naturally Speaking

I’m enjoying the Indian summer. The red and golden leaves are backlit by the beautiful autumn sky! What a wonderful morning!

To be outdoors among all the natural wonders only to be shaken from the bliss by a LEAF BLOWER! I realize in man’s quest to make things easier the leaf blower falls under some category of  useful garden tool. As far as I’m concerned it serves no useful purpose! It moves the leaves from one spot to the other so they can be swept up into a bag. When the leaves should be raked or just left to decompose as intended by God.

You cant’t tell me you don’t prefer watching leaves blow carelessly in the fall breeze, over an overalled man wearing ear protection blowing leaves with a gas powered machine?

Nature works, why do we interfere?



Running Thoughts on Fall/Spring

Jogging through the park I thought about all the things that are similar and different about Fall and Spring…

Spring’s colors are vibrant and green. The light is bright and is welcoming. Nature is coming alive and a sense of rebirth and anticipation is felt by all. The air is fragrant.

Fall’s colors are muted and russet. The light is waning. Nature’s pace has slowed and is preparing to go dormant. The scent is musty.

Both these seasons offer such wonderful opportunities for reflection. They are the long awaited exhale of winter and summer. Both showcase nature at her best, offering a varied array of colors and light… Heralding the summer and winter with grace and beauty!




This Moment…

During these past two days I’ve experienced being in the moment from two very different perspectives.  I spent yesterday assisting my stepfather with splitting wood. For those of you unfamiliar with this process you take a cut log and split it with a machine. The work is tedious and laborious. For seven hours I operated the splitter while my stepfather and his daughter placed logs on the machine. There was no talking because the machine was so loud speaking would be pointless, so we worked in silence. My mind and body were one with the work. It was like long distance running the mind numbing repetitive physical experience blanked out all thoughts of the past and the future, all that remained was now. I can see why  monks work in silence, because it brings a sense of focused peace which can only be experienced through silent labor.

Today I took a more familiar avenue – A trip into nature. I let the day take me and I ended up at one of my favorite places Sauchest Point. I had my camera a book and a bottle of water. I followed a path to a shore access and walked the beach. I came upon a secluded spot not too far from the waters edge and sat down in what can only be described as a natural recliner. I sat  silently drinking in the gloriousness of the day. Feeling a peace I rarely get except when silent in nature. Hearing every step I took along the beach and gravel path gave me a sense of my place on the earth.  My thoughts like that of the young rabbit I spied along the path were only in and of the now.

How ironic on the weekend where we celebrate a discoverer, I discover  being in the tmoment…



What Matters…

It’s been a week since Irene blew in and out of our lives and it left me with the following impressions; We are way too dependent upon electricity, we are spoiled and some of us are ungrateful and oblivious to how lucky we really are.

The day of the storm, people were able to get into their cars drive to Mc Donald’s to get hot food and use WiFi. Most of us could go to our cars to recharge various electronic devices. A lot of us had generators and many didn’t even lose power. Yet people were complaining after a few days without electricity that they were “suffering”… Are you kidding me? Look I enjoy my television, computer and kuerig as much as the next person, but “suffering?” What are you talking about? First and foremost no lives were lost. There were areas harder hit and suffered far more than we did. Everything that happened could be fixed – All it required was patience!

There are places in Africa where people spend their entire day just walking to get water for basic needs. Children can’t go to school because they have to help carry water. This isn’t for a few days and God help us for a week! This is their everyday existence! I was embarrassed and appalled listening to the people calling in complaining about who’s electric got turned on first. People where actually complaining they saw linemen eating! What is wrong with us?  Are we so addicted to conveniences that we can’t live without them?

I for one found these simple things to enjoy; the quiet, how bright the stars were, reading and just sitting quietly. I realized how extremely wonderful a hot shower is and how blessed I am to be able to enjoy one by just walking a few feet.

As the anniversary of 9-11 draws near I hope we recall what we lost and what tragedy truly is:The devastation from Katrina on the Gulf – The earthquakes in Hati and Japan, and then hang our heads in shame on our reaction to Irene…

I’m back writing everyday, barring any power outage – I’m sure you’ll survive without me!



Looking Out and Remembering Back – The Sea…

I believe today was the first day in which I gave my body and my mind a vacation – I went to the beach! Funny going to the beach as a child was an everyday occurrence in the summer. There was swimming lessons at summer camp, family gatherings down the Narrows in Bristol, lovely excursions to the ocean and jumping off the rock at the end of Maple Street in Warren. All of these memories are still near and dear to my heart. In fact today looking out into the ocean I spotted a little girl and her dad. I remembered all the incredible fun I had at the beach with my dad. For some reason my father always was happier, more animated and alive at the beach. I remember he’d take his glasses off and be out playing in the water with us – Using his cupped hands as spring board  he’d throw us laughing and screaming into the water. He’d pretend he was a shark and sneak up on us, or he’d show us how to dive off the floating dock at the Narrows. I remember body surfing at second beach for hours, parent days at camp and digging for quahogs. It was my special time with dad (my brother was water phobic). Even after my brother moved away and I moved back I’d take dad to the beach and we’d spend the day sometimes just talking and swimming… It amazes me how one small incident brought back so many pleasant experiences… Not only was today restful, it was memorable…

I love days like this, having people we’ve lost come back and share a moment through our memories…


Thanks Dad,


Snoring Rain…

There is something cozy about rainy afternoons, the dim light and the rhythm of the rain combine to create the perfect ambiance for one of life’s simple pleasures the nap. Together with a cat who loves to cozy up to you – It doesn’t get better! Now with the kitty warm and purring nestled against your chest you are off to dream land!  Don’t discount this simple pleasure as being lazy, far from it! We all need to slow down and recharge, why do you think babies and toddlers have so much energy? Who says naps are something we need to outgrow? Do animals? Have you ever watched your dogs and especially cats during the day? They nap! Why because it is what God intended… It is a way to shut down the brain and a time to rest the mind/body/spirit… You will be far more productive and in better humor. After all aren’t children cranky without a nap? What makes us different?  So do yourself and the rest of us a favor, grab your favorite blankie set the alarm for thirty and drift away… It’s the cheapest vacation you’ll ever take!


Well got to go Nap Time!


Fur the Love…

Taking a moment to recognize and appreciate the “Furry” members of our families. Whether they may be feline or canine they expect nothing and give everything…  My life has been blessed by dogs and cats, each bringing me a special love unmatched in human terms. These furry family members rarely deviate in their affection toward those they love.  Whereas we humans have love that changes as our relationships evolve. I guess this is why our pets are so important, they can always be counted on for support. Whether it’s a lick of the hand, purr, or tail wag, they are always there when needed.

It is my hope that I can be counted on by my furry family and my human family and friends. That by experiencing this kind of unconditional love I can  also give love unconditionally.

Nature is God’s classroom to us, we are to be a part of it to learn from it – The natural world is not ours to conquer or improve but ours to study and share. So Fur the love my friends hug your kitties, and doggies love them like they love you – You’ll be a better person.

A Friend Fur Ever,