A record

I’ve stopped recording my runs, or paying much attention to how long they took. But tonight I had a wonderful time, one worth recording: terrible day, lots of police around expecting football trouble, but by the time I reached the bridge and flew down the steps to the riverside path I could see the late sunlight filtering through the clouds and lighting the trees from behind, and my legs seem to reach out more properly, my heart and back and ankles all working together and listening to each other, shoulders in line with the ground and open without me thinking about it. Other runners seemed friendlier and smiled more often; people walking through the park to the football were happy; early dew in the shade mingled with the smell of cut grass and the nearby riverbanks, and I felt as if there was no need to pace myself but could just run for the sake of being able to, powering up the rise of the railway bridge and using the slope on the other side to push me towards the shadow of the suspension bridge that marks halfway. Palm to the red mineral stain under the bridge, a pause for a breath and a look at the gorge in the sunlight and then back down the hill, feet and ground meeting each exactly on time and gravity helping. The strings kicked in and I realised that through the sweat I was grinning like a simpleton, legs flying, chest heaving, dust ballooning behind as I met a man running up the way I had come: he smiled as my idiocy infected him and I ran like a miracle all the way home.

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