Thursday, July 1, 2010

Packing for Chicago

It is after 9:00 PM as I sit here still sweaty from my gym session, looking around the apartment wondering what to pack.  I leave for the airport tomorrow at the crack of dawn and I still have laundry to do. Procrastinate? Me? Never.

I love running for so many reasons I can hardly list them all.  I love that running is incredibly versatile and accessible.  While I can't pack an elliptical in my suitcase or dumbbells in my carry-on I certainly can throw a pair of running shoes in my bag and still make it through security. 

Tomorrow, I will arrive in Chicago for the first time since I moved to California 8 months ago.  I will be greeted by the somewhat crazy, exceptionally lively bunch that is my family.  I will willingly cram a ton of family time into just a few days.  As fun as this will be, it will also be tiring as I make my way from the suburbs to the city and all the way out to the rural town in which my mom resides.

Depending on where I decide to run I will either admire beautiful cows grazing in the tall grass or traipse along Lake Michigan marveling in Chicago’s architecture.  Either way I will satisfy my urge to run.  That little bit of quiet reflection and peace will do me good and give me the energy needed for a weekend packed with family parties. 

While I miss Chicago’s energy, culture and urban beauty I don’t think I will soon forget why I moved here.  Just last night I had the most gratifying run on the trails outside of my home.  I wove up and around the canyon with delight feeling like everything was right in my life.  Because it is.  

I live a pretty effortless life these days.  I work, run, practice yoga, cook, read and sleep.  I don’t chase after cabs or buses anymore and I am certainly never in a rush to get anywhere.  After all, this is California.  Nobody is ever in a rush.  I have become spoiled with an uncomplicated existence here and I expect to feel worn out after this activity-packed weekend.

Now it is close to 10:00 PM and I still have not packed my suitcase.  I am not stressed or crazed like I would have once been.  I am in no rush anymore.  In the end, as long as I remember my running shoes I will be just fine. 

Happy running & have a safe holiday weekend everyone!