On most mornings, after dropping off the kids in school, I make my way to my favorite coffee shop at the nearby town center. I almost always arrive at 7:30 a.m. even if it doesn’t open until 8:00 a.m. There’s a full 30 minutes when I can do nothing but let time pass. But, I don’t. I take the hands of time, clasp it into mine, and I almost don’t want to let it go.
This morning, I sit in the outdoor chairs by the soon-to-open coffee shop in the middle of the center embracing the half hour I am blessed with. A cool breeze gingerly brushes upon my cheeks while the gentle sun keeps me warm enough to rest comfortably. It is not completely silent; I hear the janitors sweeping the dry leaves, watering the grass, and chatting with the guards. I hear the birds chirping, the planes zooming by, and the gush of water from the koi pond behind me. It is morning music to my ears, the rhythm from the day that’s starting to arise. I take everything in—every single detail—from the guard’s name tag to the ants carrying the heavy load on their backs. Do ants even sleep? I wonder. And, my mind wanders. I think about everything—and also nothing.
These 30 slow minutes make a huge difference in my cluttered, chaotic, and taxing day. There is an endless to-do list to tick off, a parent-teacher meeting to attend, and homework to supervise. There’s a tempo run this evening following a 1.5 hour bike ride yesterday and a lung-busting speed session at the track the night before. With the heavy load I put on my body—pushing it to go beyond exhaustion so it can work even harder on the days that count—it is these 30 long, slow, and sublime minutes that provide a sense of balance, sanity and serenity.
30 minutes with a non-fat chai tea latte, three times a week. Consider adding it to your training program.