Seeing The Country One Step At A Time

I am in Charlotte, North Carolina visiting my mother for a few days so my posts may be sporadic as I'm trying to take in as much time with her, her boyfriend, my sister, and my nephew.  It's been nearly 2 years since I have been here and I am cherishing every moment I have with them. This morning I set out on a one hour run and from the first step to the last it was as if I had never seen this part of where she lives.  I have run here before, but because it has been so long none of it looked familiar and I enjoyed it all.  The smell of pine trees (we don't have any near my house), the feel of asphalt (our roads are concrete), the cold damp wet weather that would get warm when you ran past the tree line and into the sun.  It was an experience. While on the run I thought about where running and triathlon have taken me and where they will be taking me.  I also thought of a post I had written a while back about seeing the sunrise while out on the run.  All of these thoughts told me that running/triathlon has opened up a world that I never would have experienced if not for these sports.  I have run in New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Charlotte, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, Boulder, and Maui.  Next year I will be traveling to Maine, Arizona and Puerto Rico for sure but who knows where else. One step at a time I will see the United States and the best part it will be at a speed at which I can comprehend my surroundings.  Ask people who drive at 65 mph what they saw and they can't give you an idea.  Ask a runner what they saw while out for 1 or 2 hours and you will get a full description of everything.  The ability to do that is special and I cherish it.  Training and racing is important to me for a number of reasons, but when you add in the ability to see our great country then the importance goes off the charts.

Where have you run and/or raced?  Which city/area was most memorable?

-------------------- Here is the sunrise post in case you did not have the chance to read it before or if you are dreading that early morning run on Saturday/Sunday: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The Early Runner"]running_early_morning_sunrise[/caption] As a runner we are often asked: 'Why do you run?' and 'Why do you run so early?' For me the answer is very simple.  I run because it is my time.  It is my time to getaway from the everyday.  It is my time to let my creative juices flow.  It is my time to examine who I am and how I want to be better.  It is my time to dig down deep and push myself to the next level.  It is my time. And during that time I have seen some of the most amazing sunrises.  I have run pre-dawn in cities like New York, Maui, Dallas, Jackson MS, Cozumel, Miami, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Austin, Healdsburg CA, and Charlotte to name a few.  It is the same sun everywhere I have been but it is a different and amazing feeling because each city, town, village is different. I have seen my breath in Jackson MS in October on a 16 mile run.  I didn't have any idea where I was but as the sun started to rise and my feet met the pavement a warm sensation came over me that can never be replicated.  I felt free at that time.  I had a 7 hour drive back to Dallas ahead of me and at that time it didn't matter.  I was alone with the world and at the same time I was one with the world. I have had sweat pouring off my forehead in Cozumel while running side by side with my wife.  We didn't talk, we just ran.  We didn't have to talk as we knew what the other was feeling.  The sun was beating down on us but to our right was crystal blue waters.  A sight like no other.  Yes, the water in Maui was crystal blue as well but in Maui I had beaches before that water.  I had the smell of pineapple in the air.  Fresh sushi was on tap for lunch and well Maui was different from Cozumel. This is the beauty of running.  The ability to see the world from a different perspective.  Have you ever seen the sun rise?  Have you ever seen the sun rise while running?  How about seeing your city?  You drive through it everyday but have you ever run through it and seen it  from a different perspective?  Have you truly opened up your eyes to your environment. For me this is what running is all about.  It is the Social Studies class they never taught in school.  They can tell you about the capital of Texas being Austin, but they can't tell you how it feels to run down Congress Ave with the capital building ahead of you and the hundreds of people going to their many destinations. I love running and it is my lifestyle.  It brings me joy and happiness.  It brings out my creative problem solving skills.  It bring out the best in me.

Have you ever seen the sun rise?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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