Ninjas of the Night

We set out after dark, dressed in a hodge-podge of winter clothes. A neck warmer served as an ear-band for Karrin, mom's small sweatpants became Mike's running tights; a motley crew. But when you're on a night run, appearances don't matter.

I'm not sure if we lost track of time in our post Turkey-Day stupor, or if we were secretly just craving a night-time adventure, but whatever the case, we headed out on our run a little later than usual; the darkened sky didn't keep us indoors that November night.

We ran to the creek, then along the thin trail that hugs the creek bed and meanders up and around. A thin ribbon of path, where we shifted to a slightly vertical stride to keep trips and stumbles and twisted ankles at bay. But it's still quite possible to continue forward on a night time run even with brambles and uneven ground underfoot. You rely on your ears and your sense of touch -- and quite often your imagination begins to play.

We were the ninjas of the night.

I believe Mike even climbed a tree that had bowed over our path. A little night creature in the branches. 

Silently treading forward, our foursome made it to Lake Harriet where we paused and marveled at how far we'd come without tiring. The magic of the night, I guess.

But it's true, Mike said. It's often easier to accomplish tasks at night when darkness keeps your eyes from searching forward and forces your attention to remain in the present. Sure, your mind can wander, but you are less apt to think about how much further you have to go as you can't see what lies ahead.

Mike has lead many groups of kids on backpacking and rock climbing adventures (among other things), and will often lead the group on a hike at night, for this very reason. He's even tackled tricky climbs in the moonlight. Kids don't complain as much at night, he says. 

And it's kind of exciting too! A normal path can turn into a grand adventure in the moonlight.

I have never been much of a night runner before (partly because it isn't safe by yourself), but now I look for excuses to run at night. I like to be forced to dwell in the present, and not worry about what lies ahead. I am a planner by nature, so putting those blinders on and focusing on each foot placement in the present, is a welcome change. I guess that's the long and wordy way of saying the old cliches "stop and smell the roses ... enjoy the scenery ... it's about the journey, not the destination." But I like my running analogy better.

Try it. Become a ninja of the night. It'll keep you on your toes!

Note that my dad was most definitely on this run too (photo taken from his iPhone). He is the instigator of most of our runs when we're all together, and is always up for the next big adventure. And Evan even ran a couple miles with us that night - what a treat!

1 comment:

  1. Yah, good ninja run! Me in my skipper scamper shoes -- Saucony Hattori!


Thanks for joining in the conversation!

Follow @ Instagram

Back to Top