PORTLAND – It’s pretty obvious that the winters in Maine can be tough for those who like to venture outside and play with their friends, no matter what the age. This year, starting in January, I joined about 50 other hearty souls and promised to take to the streets of Portland every Tuesday and Thursday night and every Saturday morning.
Call me crazy – it was a great decision.
Most nights, the temperature around the eastern prom hovers in the mid-20s and for a few weeks it seemed like the arctic circle moved south for the season, and still we met, and still, we ran.
Along the way, I met a man who had recently completed a walk up the Appalachian Trail and decided to settle in Portland. I talked to a woman in her 60s who told her family and her husband that running kept her sane and centered, and I met a young woman who never thought she would participate in a road race and this spring, she’ll line up with about 1,000 other runners for her first 5K.
For a writer, there’s no end to the stories, characters, and images. For a teacher, there are countless lessons, but for me, the runner who somehow managed to lose 45-50 pounds during the last eight months, it was a chance to run again.
It may sound dumb, even a little strange, but I look forward to piling on the neon clothes and putting one foot in front of the other as I lumber up and over the hills along the edge of Portland Harbor. There’s always something to look at and tonight was no different.
I was about a mile from the finish and grateful that I was heading downhill. I noticed a house up ahead that was lit up with some type of decorative lights. I thought they were just left-over Christmas lights, and I muttered something to myself about the end of the season, but as I got closer I realized they were Valentine’s Day lights. I smiled and looped around to take a picture.
Another great night and another great run.
Thanks again for reading my stories and as always, you may purchase my novel, Homecoming: A Soldier’s Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption at your local, independent bookstore or online: DavidArenstam.com, BrysonTaylorPublishing.com, or Amazon.com
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