Which Are You??

“This is why I moved here,” as my fellow east coaster friend and I rounded a bend and saw the view of Mount Shasta I know we were both thinking it, I said it out loud. The trails here in Southern Oregon are incredible. In-cred-ible! We both moved here from the mid-Atlantic to be happier and then we figured we figure it out as we go.

As our conversation progressed on our 3 hour trail run topics progressed from all over the board: men, work, running, roommates, religion, moving…etc. My friend started talking about a woman she works with and couldn’t help but notice that this woman seems to be young, beautiful, married but works a whole lot! Like, a lot a lot. So much that I think the only time she’s outside is when she’s between her house and her car and her car and work…unless she has a garage, and then maybe parks in an underground parking structure…anyway, this woman seems to do nothing but work and then grocery shop on her days off. BORING.

 

Why am I talking about some woman I don’t even know? I’ve never met her, why do I care what she does? I don’t, really. But I know lots of people like her and it makes me kind of sad and curious. Did she never have the chance to figure out what she loves? Is she happy?  Makes me think about something I’ve heard people say as a concept of life: I live to work. OR I work to live. Which one are you?

Do you spend your days at work dreaming to get out, planning your next trip, gearing up to experience something alone or with a friend in a new place? Or do you get up in the morning and go to bed each night with work on your mind, making money your first thought, paying off those bills so you can enjoy the good life LATER?

My friend and I ran and ran and ran for three hours yesterday. Winding through the trail systems that put my old ‘trails’ to shame. Talking, laughing, detoxing from our week of working—this is one of my favorite ways to feel good about life. Knowing that I have the opportunity and love of the outdoors to detach myself from the everyday struggles and stresses of life. My jobs are to allow me to do what I want know, they let me live where I want and let me do what I want right now.

 

I chose to work so I can live. Don’t get me wrong, I want to enjoy my job and be full filled, but I’m also beginning to understand that there is so much more than work. I want to work, I want to learn, I want to play, I want to figure out the best balance of being able to do it all and be full filled and enriched!

 

Now how do I do that? Quarter life crisis countdown is on… T-minus 6 days! Eeeeeeek!!

Dare I say…

Because I live life on the road so much I have a hard time calling one particular place home. As a kid, my family bounced around from the east coast, to the mid west, to overseas, back to the middle of the country, then back east and then once more time to the Midwest.

On my own, I went to South America, then back east for a year of university and then ended up back in the Midwest… man, just talking about moving makes me tired. And now somehow I ended up with a job traveling the mid-Atlantic. So, when I’m running in a random city I rarely feel like I know where I’m going. I feel like I’m just constantly getting myself lost in hopes of a few things: getting a good run in, seeing the city, and maybe discovering something cool.

Rarely do I feel like I own a city. I don’t get a feeling of personal attachment to one particular place. However, I may have had that feeling last week on a run around the Inner Harbor. It was my second long run of the day and I needed to accomplish and hour and half of foot time, at 5pm I took off out the door of my apartment building and just started running, first to the harbor, then to the left through little Italy—being Friday evening, the weekend of Valentines day, I had to dodge couples and gaggles of single women lining up for Happy Hour, I had to weave my way between cars around Whole Foods until I finally made it to Boston street where things open up a little bit.

Boston runs right along the harbor where boats float in the icy February water, tied to the pier, begging to be let free to sail away. The water looked crisp, the air was fresh but not too cold. The temperature was warm for February, above 35 so I had shorts and a jacket, my favorite running attire. I ran and ran, Vampire Weekend was blasting my ears and keeping my cadence high and light. I ran, I ran and ran. The sun blasted orange over the water and reflected back turning the sky into an explosion that I wish I had been able to capture, (yet alas, my fancy camera phone was left behind—along with all other form of communication, what a glorious feeling!)

At my turn around point I stop to stretch a bit, to admire the other Friday evening runners, to take notice of what a dog friendly city Baltimore is. After a few moments I hop back into my pace, quickening it bit, getting into my grove, setting a bit of a faster speed for my journey back along the Promenade.

At this point, I find myself on a wooden surface jutting out straight toward the water, a perfect view of the setting sun, Vampire Weekend loud and optimistic in my headphones—I have the biggest, cheessiest grin on my face. I can only imagine what other runners think of my smile, but I don’t care. I feel good. I feel comfortable. I feel like Baltimore is a city I love to run in. The wooden planks under my feet are my favorite surface to run on, they make a happy noise under foot and spring me forward to continue on to complete my route that is wrapping around past Power Plant’s Barnes & Noble, by the Aquarium and to my goal—Russel Schipper. I can see the red neon lights; my pace gets more excited as it creeps closer.

Now it’s dark, lights reflect and double on the glass smooth water. No boats are sailing out to sea tonight. The mile back to my apartment from the end of the harbor was tough. An hour and half run after an hour morning work out was hard—but inspired. The city inspired me and kept my feet moving. It put a smile on my face that was the genuine smile of…dare I say? A runner’s high.

 

 

 

*Photos by Andrew Durand

A short introduction:

Thanks for stopping here. This is my blog, I’m Sloan and I’m just going to lay it out there for you quick and easy on this first blog to, hopefully, eliminate any confusion or questions one may have about who I am or what this blog’s mission is.

I love to run. I hate it too. I travel the mid-Atlantic of the United States (that means—Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and DC) I do this for a living to talk about shoes all day long. I love to eat. I also hate it. Eating of course is great fuel but as someone who has struggled with weight, it can also be an added stressor in life. I want to write about the great places I run, eat and travel, hopefully I’ll meet some people to talk to them along the way and be able to share my experience with the blogg-o world.

I’m also on Twitter and need more lemmings so that I can keep teasing my friend about having more followers then him, so follow me @Sloan0 and it’ll be great.

Other things I love: reading, yoga, attempting to write (cough*cough, that’s why I’m starting a blog…) good wine, craft beer, amazing cups of coffee, or shitty cups of coffee in amazing coffee shops, great conversation… okay this is starting to sound like a Match.com profile—enough! Please read and tell your friends about it. Feel free to comment and make suggestions as you see fit. Or if you’re in my neck o’ the woods (my neck is huge) hit me up and we’ll go for a run through the woods or get lost in the city!