It’s 4:45am. My dog and I stand before our house of worship: Seaside Reef.
Most days running is a necessary evil for me, but not today. Today I am in tune with my body. Today I am a soul runner. Today my breath is rhythmic and instinctive. My cadence is easy like the bass line of an old country song. My strides are smooth like whipped butter. Every so often Django stops to dig in the sand, but I don’t scold or pull him. He’s enjoying this as much as I am; playing in it, basking in this salty, sunless ambiance. The waves break ethereally, nudging the shore as if to whisper “wake up”. The seagulls squawk morning tidings to one another. The train horn sounds as if only to celebrate this perfect dawn. I mimic the horn aloud to join in the celebration, because nobody is around, and even if they were, they’d make sense of it. I muster a couple halfhearted push-ups on a seaside bench with the silent understanding that the ocean doesn’t care how toned my arms are. The ocean doesn’t care whether my legs jiggle or if I weigh 2 pounds more than I did a last week. The ocean is unaffected by my earthly body — I am, however, perpetually affected by it.