Last Tuesday, I felt the urge to start my first day of graduate school with a morning run through Central Park. Anticipating the remnants of Hurricane Isaac destroying any chance I may have had at an outdoor run for the rest of the week, I followed my instincts. A relatively new local of the Upper East Side, I stick to the park’s outer perimeter road which pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles share. While my shorter runs usually consist of the northern half of the perimeter and a homeward bound view of the water reservoir, Tuesday was a south-running kind of day.
After encountering the same runner with neon orange Asics for the third time in 30 minutes, I realized something wasn’t quite right. Coming up on the same view of Essex House for the second time, it was clear that I had somehow created a miniature loop of my own at the bottom of the park. I honestly cannot remember if it was the beats of my running playlist or the thoughts doing laps of their own inside my skull that led me to abandon my physical body that morning. Who knows, maybe I was simply appreciating the greenest view of the city available to me, internalizing every second of it I could get. Regardless, it took me a GoogleMaps app and an additional two miles than anticipated to navigate my running butt home and get ready for my first class at NYU.
I share this little anecdote with you to express just how worthwhile getting a little sidetracked can be every once in a while. Nothing tragic came of this incident: I didn’t fatigue from running too long, miss my class or get caught in the downpour that began only seconds after reaching my front door. If anything, the mind-body disconnection for just a half hour left me feeling rejuvenated and not at all annoyed by the unanticipated puzzle of making my way back to the Upper East Side.
Whatever your distraction of choice may be, I encourage you to stray from the path occasionally, get just a little lost. The journey home requires for you to take in the world from a slightly different perspective, open yourself to the various possibilities that lay ahead. Let your mind run where it needs to run– don’t fight it. Trust that it will bring you back to where you need to be in a more refreshed and wise state than before.
Go ahead, lose yourself; you have the power within to find your way back.