Running in Nature and the Nature of Being
Next time you’re in Sydney, be sure to enjoy the “Coogee – Bondi” run.
Sydney’s a big city, by any standards. Busy, with lots of people and concrete and buildings and traffic. And more traffic. And more people, and buildings and concrete and traffic...
...and breathtaking natural beauty.
Sydney Harbour is one of Nature’s most perfect designs, from a practical and aesthetic perspective. Famous National Parks enclose Sydney’s upper and lower fringes – the Royal National Park to the south was Australia’s first (and the second in the world), established in 1879, while Kuringai Chase National Park to the north offers a wealth of forest and coastal terrain.
Sydney’s coastline is comprised of picture-postcard surf beaches interspersed with rocky escarpments and headlands. Connecting several of these beaches, from Bondi in the north to Coogee in the south, is a walking and running track of about 6 kilometres.
The Coogee – Bondi, or Bondi – Coogee, or Googee – Bondi – Coogee run, with or without breakfast, is my favourite way to start a Sydney day. It offers the grandeur of the world’s largest ocean, swathes of an immense sky, crashing waves on the gnarled edge of an ancient continent, horizon-loads of ocean-fresh air, bright blooming flowers, happy-scampering puppies, a testing hilly workout and the option of a good drenching swim from a gleaming sandy beach.
I find running in Nature one of life's most refreshing and uplifting pursuits. For me it is perhaps the most direct way to connect with Nature, as one seems not merely to be observing, but participating in Nature's beauty, purity, intricacy, power and majesty. While running, one's breath seemingly connects one directly with a deeper Force flowing in and through the wind, waves, rocks, soil and plants and infusing our very cells, nerves, thoughts and will with a higher memory and purpose.
One can imagine and feel Nature herself breathing and singing in and through one's breath; an ongoing inhalation, exhalation and exclamation of the Supreme. We are indeed part of all this, and all this of us: it in us and we of it.
While running, we humans can appreciate Nature from the inside as participant, and from the outside as observer. A runner is at once a witness, a traveller and a creator. For while we are one within Nature, and thrilled to be so, our soul has also the wings upon which to rise above and beyond her. Running strengthens both our oneness with Nature - our immanence - and our will to rise beyond - our transcendence... the triumph of the soul in body, and glorification of the body in soul.
Come on... let's RUN!
It'll be fun...