It's a saying that's often reserved for those who dislike excessive dreamers. When they encounter an idealist, they brush the person off as someone trying to live where humans were never meant to go. It's just another fool who dreams years away while the "real" world below passes by. The dreamer is told, "Get your head out of the clouds. You're missing the life you've been given."
But really, are they?
I went for a run in the clouds this morning. Overnight, a thick fog settled over the city. I've learned to scoff at reports of fog in Austin, having seen what passes for "dense" among the local forecasters, but today they weren't joking. At one point on my backstretch, I appeared to be running in some forsaken wasteland, devoid of hope (at least in the direction I was going). Surrounded by the clouds, I thought about flying. About rain. About what it must be like to have the world fall away from your feet and find yourself soaring. Really, about anything but running.
And I think that's okay. There are workouts, certainly, where I need to focus on what I'm doing on the road. Race day, naturally, but also speed work and those mornings when I force myself to run a certain pace. These are the times when I must focus on every moment and every movement. Sometimes, though, I'm just getting in the miles, and today was one of those mornings. As my mind jumped from one great height to another, my legs churned out 8 miles automatically. Did I need to return to the earth? Was I missing out on something by looking up?
I think you need the dream. I ran a marathon at age 18, and suddenly there was no longer a goal to accomplish, nothing to keep me on the road. I had no thoughts of anything bigger than fitting in among the other guys in my dorm. It took 8 years before I started running again with any sort of regularity, and the only way I did it was by creating another dream. Another goal.
So there I was, the end of my eighth straight week of running, cutting my way through thick fog and wondering what it'd be like to fly. Soaring, in my own way, though the clouds.
I wasn't missing anything.
62 Degrees, and, well, foggy