Glowing After Weary Travels

My flight was delayed, and two babies screamed pretty much the entire duration like it was their jobs (which, as a friend mentioned, is sort of their actual job). We hit a good amount of turbulence which made me think the baby screaming wasn’t actually that bad. You know, compared to us falling out of the sky and plummeting to our demise.

A number of people nearby kept trading glances at the parents of the screaming children. Mind you, this was a three-hour flight. If a few hours of baby screaming is the worst thing to happen to you all day, on a budget-class flight, be thankful.

As I wrote about before, sometimes we have to sit through things to arrive at better things.

I’ve had to run every other day for nearly two years before I could casually head out for a seven mile run with no great pain or discomfort.

To completely avoid screaming babies, scary turbulence, and a snowy 30-minute delay, I would have to cancel all my plans and just stay indoors. But I would have missed sitting on a dock, or running along a waterway, or having a good conversation with an old friend.

All those things are glowing, but they’re never automatic. They don’t come easy, as is the case with most things worth experiencing.

Bags

When I hit the road back in 2010 on my bike I used a Chrome messenger bag. Eventually, I switched to a Chrome Yalta, and that was my go-to bag for many years. I’ve got a Goruk GR1 which I really don’t use enough, but it’s a great bag for day trips or hikes in the woods.

Then I started running in 2016, and could finally run longer distances, so when I traveled I wanted to be able to run once I got to my destination. Packing extra shoes, shirts, shorts, and jackets… running gear takes up some serious space.

I purchased a Patagonia 60L Black Hole Duffel Bag in February of 2017, so almost a year now. It’s big enough for an extra pair of shoes, running gear, regular clothes, and a small Timbuk 2 laptop sling (I usually check this duffel when flying, or throw in the cargo hold of the bus, then keep the laptop bag with me). In between buses and trains I can throw it over my shoulder with the hand straps, and if going extra distances I break out the straps and carry it on my back.

The Glow

I love long, drawn-out songs for the glow.

One of my favorites is Cult of Luna’s ‘Echoes.’ It’s from the 2004 album ‘Salvation,’ and is one of four songs longer than 10 minutes on the record.

God, this sounds like a fucking “album review,” but hear me out.

This isn’t a quick and easy song to digest. You have to sit down and take it in, in much the same way you don’t just sit down with ‘The Big Lebowski’ and skip ahead to your favorite scenes.

Back to ‘Echoes.’ The “pay off” doesn’t come until the 5:30 mark. You sit there, be patient, and when it hits, oh wow, does it hit.

Now, since this isn’t an “album review,” let me explain how this fits in other parts of my life as of late.

Getting up at 7 am to meet some other people on a cold, rainy Sunday morning doesn’t sound delightful. Then running five miles with wet, muddy feet? Why do that?

After all that trouble, the wait, the grind, I get that payoff. It’s something I’ve been feeling since I started running back in 2016. It’s the tunnel vision, the focus, like a secret you have that you can’t explain to anyone.

The glow.