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An Ode to the In-Between

Most days my mind wanders. These non-workout days allow for the creativity to run free along with my feet. It’s a dance with the earth. Pace is irrelevant. Discovery is key. These days may be seen as in-between runs, but these are not just the in-between, not just time on the feet. Rather, it’s when the mind can be free from numbers to connect with the trees. When one can be in touch with the way of things. The changing of the leaves, and the shifting of season, running away from logic and reason. Finding rhythm with the turning of the earth, and the earth’s presence within the universe.

Most days my mind wanders. Fall is full of shifting weather and color, allowing the creativity to run free along with my feet. I can see my breath rising into the air. A reminder of being here. A reminder of being. The steady hum of morning fills the senses. There’s a magic to experiencing the fleeting fall color and crisp through steady movement of a run across the land. The way the sun of dawn washes through the yellow aspens. The feeling of cold air cycling through the body. The patient observation of the shifting landscapes. There is an intensified awareness of time’s passing. Fall is not just an in-between period of time. It’s full of sensations so sublime. A reacquaintance with the cold and falling in love with every shade of gold. There’s a rhythm to the transition.

The in-betweens reside in the mind, through the perception of time. Because what is the moment between the past and future besides right now? The right now reflects what is done and leads towards what will come. The non-workout days are a form of recovery and preparation for the workout. A rest for the body and mind. Fall leads into winter. A steady ease into the cold and monochrome. There’s a fiery beauty in anticipation. And it’s the in-between where anticipation exists. It colors the present in an endearing tone, like the patches of autumn trees nestled amongst the mountainside. Bright reminders of the process of things, that this moment is fully excellent, and entirely its own.

My mind is with the leaves, observing the colors scattered across the land. My feet are moving but this leaf stays in my hand. This leaf, a reminder of this moment. A few minutes into the run it caught my eye. A leaf amongst leaves painting the terrain. Its yellow already shifting to red with a few bits of the in-between of orange. An anticipation of the full range of hues. It journeys with me along the miles of this road. A relaxed rhythm within this familiar mode. This run dedicated to the trees and the calm they bring, to the always present shifting through time and space, to the in-between moments that are full of everything.

SARAH ATTAR is a runner and artist currently living and training full time in Mammoth Lakes, CA. She competed in the London 2012 Olympics as Saudi Arabia's first female Olympic runner. 

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