I have friends who run a different route every day. They uncover new trails on a regular basis. Their running is a constant exercise in variety and exploration.
In stark contrast, many of my runs are utilitarian. I often get the miles in via a simple out and back route. There are stretches of road and trail that I have covered innumerable times.
I never get bored. There is no monotony. There is no tedium. Every run is fresh and different to me. Every run has a unique identity and character waiting to be revealed.
My standard five mile out and back route is drenched in subtle details. Maybe I am the only one who discerns them. Maybe I am the only one who cares.
Something as simple as when I run can radically alter the texture and complexion of the experience. Whatever hour I choose to begin alters what lies ahead. No hour is the same.
6AM brings a bracing bite in the air that rouses me better than a cup of coffee. The slow awakening of the world around me mirrors my own awakening on the road. My heart rate gradually elevates. The wheels turn over awkwardly at first, then a bit more gracefully.
The same journey at 12PM has a much different flavor. There are no cobwebs to shake off. I am awake. I am warm. I am grooved. Everything flows.
Evening descends and the same stretch of road at night becomes yet another journey. The darkness excites. There is mystery on the road. There is intrigue. Perhaps there is a tinge of danger.
Independent of when I choose to embark, there are an infinite numbers of things beyond my control that add flavor and complexity to my journeys.
The wind blows differently or maybe it doesn't blow at all. The light strikes my eyes differently. Maybe I feel like a different person.
The world never looks the same as it did yesterday. The path is familiar. It is similar. But, it is not the same.
I run because no route is the same twice...