misty trail copy copyWriting is sedentary. Sure, you get up to refill your coffee, but while your mind is doing jumping jacks, vigorously working out, your body is desk-bound, inactive, stationary.

The only muscles you’re using are flexors, abuctors and opponens – the muscle group in your hands and fingers, and then only if you’re on a roll. Sometimes I’m so inert I could be in a coma, maybe I am in a coma.

Why is it so exhausting?

When I’m in the company of my muse I write until she abandons me. That could be several hours after which my shoulders and neck are stiff, my back is giving me hell, even my knees ache.

The solution? Go for a run.

I’m not one of those runners decked out in spandex and primary colors. Neither do I travel to the popular haunts of runners. I simply pull on some shorts, a t-shirt and running shoes and head out from my home.

From the time I step out my door my workout has begun.

In the beginning there is pain. There is frustration. There is the specter of old age and futileness of trying to deny or delay it. But the act of running soon takes care of that. You have to be alert. I live in a big city full of inattentive drivers and uneven sidewalks. I run despite the weather, day or night. All this must be considered and adapted to, there’s no opportunity to reflect on my inadequacy as a writer, the irrationality of the undertaking, or how unlikely the chances of success.

Soon I’ve hit a rhythm. I settle into a pace, my breathing moderates and gradually, without even knowing it, the pain, the frustration, the anxiety all slips away. I’m in the moment, immediate and alive, moving through time and space and like osmosis absorbing and feeding off the experience.

I run in back lanes. They are so much more interesting than the façade of front yards. It’s here, at this time of year, I take advantage of summer’s bounty. Anything that grows on, hangs over, or is reachable from public property is fair game. Raspberries, plums, and my favorite, the ubiquitous blackberry nourish and renew my energy.

I run for about an hour. At some point during this period I’ll experience an intense feeling of wellbeing. Along the way I’ve shed frustration and disappointment, sweated out anxiety and taken on renewed purpose. I feel connected. I am happy.

I return home energized and optimistic. For a while everything is possible.

And then I go for another run.


Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to, my three novels, Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs, and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. ALL THREE BOOKS – THE ECO-WARRIOR SERIES NOW JUST $8.99



Read my current work(s) in progress at



More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin

View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music