Sometimes, the most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of your heart when the world is asleep. When the world is quiet and it is still dark, so dark you cannot see where you are stepping. And so cold that your fingers feel numb. But there you are, awake and breathing through the cold, running through the leaves and the snow and it isn't bad. It doesn't feel great, but it still feels good: you're happy to be here running even though it's cold and you're tired and could be sleeping, but you wouldn't want to be. All you want is the sound of your heart beating against your chest like it wants to break free. And maybe it does, just a little. All you need is the sound of the wind through the leaves and the sound of shoes on pavement. The sound of someone next to you, who knows that running is breathing. Neither of you could live without it even if you tried.
The sound of leaves crunching under my feet is one of my favorite sounds in the world. There is nothing like the smell of freshly mowed grass and the flutter of my heart right before I'm about to race. No matter how many mornings I have experienced this feeling, it never has gotten old. I still love waking up while it is still dark out, wrapped up in sweats, ready to run while the world is still fast asleep in their beds. I love the feeling of getting new spikes and putting them on. I even love the bad parts. I love the burning of my lungs and my legs. Maybe it's because it reminds me that I am right here, right now, in this moment. I am alive, so alive in fact I can't remember if I'm breathing. I don't even mind the blood that comes with sweat and the occasional tears. It means that I tried, and that if I fell, I got right back up. In running, your biggest enemy is your mind. It constantly tells you how tired you are, how you're not good enough and how you will never be. You can choose to listen to this voice or ignore it. Ignoring something isn't always that easy. But choosing to clear your mind and listen to yourself fight back and say that I am good enough is a great feeling. I even love the rain, and the cold. Most of the time, at least. Wearing a tank top and practically bikini bottoms while its nearly snowing is not a good time. But you can either tell yourself how bad it is going to suck or tell yourself how in a few minutes, you won't feel anything at all. Not even the crash of your feet as they strike the frozen ground or your arms which have turned bright red. Nothing at all. In a short while, this race will be over. And yes you will be cold, so cold in fact you can't untie your shoes but you made it. You are here, you are strong, and you are alive. Your heartbeat might be the only thing you can hear as it crushes against your chest like it's trying to break free and your fingers might not work, and you might not be able to talk because your lungs are too busy greedily sucking the air from the atmosphere but that is perfectly fine. Because sometimes, the sound of silence can be nice. When your mind is quiet and the world is still asleep and the sounds that fill the air are of your teammates breathing and their nervous heartbeats beating in time with yours. Remember this: you are alive and that is beautiful.