Franklin sits and relaxes in downtown Huntington with his friend and roommate Josh Hastings.

When the calendar page flips to April, life feels like a sprint. It’s as if the earth turns just a bit faster. I have a to-do list that gets longer every day, and I have to wonder how I will ever have the time to do everything I need to do, while also maintaining personal wellness.

I finally got to a point where I realized that I needed to take a timeout. I needed to plant my feet in the dirt and get back to the most basic aspect of our being: breathing.

This morning I went for a run. I used to run cross country and track in high school, and it was a daily routine I took for granted. I have been trying to get out and run more over the past several weeks, after neglecting my running shoes for over a year. It was a cold and rainy morning, but my mind was set, and my shoes were laced. I stepped outside, and I just started to go. I had no phone and no music. All I had was my breathing and the rhythm of my steps. Distracted only by the beating of my heart and the occasional dog passing by me, I felt free and, although my legs were sore and my lungs stressed, calm.

As I ran, a realization came to my mind: I have time. I have plenty of time in my day, and I need to spend some of that time grounding myself, getting back to the basics, dealing with the other complicated stuff at another time in my day. It’s important that we take these times to gather ourselves. This run affected every other part of my day. I was more focused and productive, and most importantly, I was more myself.

Franklin Norton can be contacted at [email protected]