Each summer my family spends one week at a lake house on the outskirts of Tulsa, Oklahoma. By â€œoutskirts,â€ I mean that the local grocery store is the Dollar General. Starbucks? Forget about it.
This remote locale also happens to be the only place in the world where I truly enjoy running. Although it always takes a couple of days to regain a good rhythm, I adore my little lakeside route. Here, pelicans serve as jogging partners, cicadas buzz playlists, paddlefish splash encouragement, and waterfront cottages serve as guideposts. I might as well be running in a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Sadly, I tend to emulate something a little less Sparksian, and a little more Miss Piggy-in-a-boxing-match. My limbs flail. My breath heaves. My muscles burn. Itâ€™s uninspiring to say the least. But, this summer was different. This summer, I was completely surprised to discover that I have actually improved as a runner. Even in the midst of ninety-degree Oklahoma humidity, I moved at a steady and enjoyable pace. My body is in better shape than years past.
My mind, however, is another story….”
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