There are monsters…


…I am awake. Wide awake. I turn my phone over and check the time. 3 AM…on the dot. Outside the sodium street lights bathe everything in an orange glow.

Do I roll over and try to fall asleep or get up, get some water? Maybe switch on the light and read for a while?

My legs are restless.

I sit up, swing my feet to the floor, pull on my tracksuit and lace up my running shoes.

I close the front door and head out across the tarmac. It’s a familiar route, past local shops, down a hill towards a park I run in.

I reach park gates, closed for the night and before I stop to think I have vaulted the fence and I am heading in to the woods.

Suddenly this familiar route is an alien world. The paths that criss cross the woods are  invisible. No more than ten metres from the road I am surrounded by darkness. I push a little further forward and then stop. Frozen. I have lost all sense of bearing. I thought I knew this run like the back of my hand, but now in the darkness all those familiar markers are gone.

I wait. I am gripped with uncertainty. What was I thinking. But I wasn’t thinking, I was just moving. Now, as my lizard brain kicks in, I see figures out of the corner of my eye. I hear rustling in the bushes. There are monsters. My breathing stops, motionless, I listen.

Here I am, in the city, in a wooded park in the small hours of the morning, disconnected from the simple act of moving in the dark. My primal brain protecting me from the monsters in the woods.

As my eyes become accustomed to the darkness I begin to breathe, consciously, long and deep. I push forward, one slow step at a time. I begin to pick up pace, the paths become clearer, the trees more distinct. I am running up the hill, what ever is chasing me, it is losing ground. Sprinting now,  hard and fast, finding my footing effortlessly, faster…out of the woods and onto the grassy plateau that over looks the City. I can see the Castle, the hills that surround us on three sides, the coast and the sea in the distance. Everything lit up for miles in every direction. Standing now, my heart is racing but this time it’s from the thrill of the chase.

There are monsters in the woods. There are monsters in the City. There are monsters everywhere. But if you stop, listen and breathe you can make them disappear.


About the author

I am a movement maverick, exploring beginner's mind and beginner's body through mobility, bodyweight training, breathwork, mindfulness, kettlebells and martial arts, focussing on self care, pain free movement and resilience. Find suggestions to get you moving over at Want to move with ease and imagination? For individual or group instruction please contact me.

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