The dojo has eyes.  And ears.  It feels and speaks too.  It is kind in its words but can be equally as harsh. It possesses all the  magic of a mystical place.

It has been anointed by thousands of gallons of sweat over years of hard working athletes.  And has become anthropomorphous through this baptism of effort.

Honesty is its message if you are willing to hear.  Whether the murmurs are at each quarter mile mark, or half mile mark, or 5K split, its truth is there for you.  You need only the courage to listen.

You never run alone at the dojo.  It is your friend, receiving footsteps as loving strokes.  Accepting and delivering miles, no dichotomy in the symbiotic give and take, only fitness of body and mind.  And Good Mother Earth.

Each season offering unique gifts, appealing to and delighting different senses.  Pleasing vistas to behold, bird songs to hear, scents both sweet and ripe, the taste of anticipation and completion equal on the palate.

Maybe right now is my favorite, the crunching leaves underfoot portending colder mornings, fewer bikes and strollers and dogs, different wildlife, and quieter, more serious runners.

Good Clean thoughts.  Honesty, there’s that word again.  Being truthful in your pursuits, whether casual or vigorous.  Accepting what you have to give and what the dojo returns.  A special relationship found only here on this 7.395 mile loop around Ed Zorinsky Lake.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner that is never truly alone.  Not at the mecca, the hallowed ground, the dojo.