Weekend Coffee Share: Hitting My Stride


If we were having coffee this morning, I’d invite you to take it outside to the little wrought-iron bench near the entrance to my apartment building. It’s a little chilly outside — it’s May in Michigan, after all — but it’s a beautiful sunrise, and there is always something so peaceful about drinking that first cup of the day outside, hands wrapped around a warm mug while the steam rises and fogs up my glasses.

I used to love sitting on the porch at my aunts’ cottage in these early hours. We couldn’t see the sunrise from there, of course, because the house faced west, overlooking Lake Michigan. Still, the reds and golds of the sun rising behind us would reflect on the water, glittering and sparkling like so many jewels spread out as far as the eye could see.

I am a morning person. I am not an optimist by nature, but I try to believe that every morning brings with it a chance for a fresh start, a new beginning. An opportunity to take a deep and soul-cleansing breath, to wipe away the grainy residue of sleep and occasional dried tears and look at the world through fresh eyes.

Years ago, I would go for a run on mornings like this. I never ran very far or very fast, but I ran. Those first few steps were always clumsy and awkward until I found my rhythm, and I’d bargain with myself. “If I don’t feel better by the time I reach the stop sign, I’ll turn around and go home,” I’d promise.  Then I’d pass the stop sign and tell myself the same thing about an oak tree or a mailbox or some other landmark.

Eventually, I’d stop bargaining. Everything would just sort of glide into place and I could go on auto-pilot. When that happened, I wasn’t running for fitness or watching the time, or even measuring the distance. I was just being. Doing. Moving. And when it was over, my whole body felt stretched-out, warmed-up, energized. It felt as though my body and my spirit fit together perfectly.

I don’t run any more. Some days, walking is almost more than I can handle. But I miss that feeling of fitting inside my own skin.

Oh, this isn’t about physical fitness (or lack thereof). It’s about feeling lost. These past few years, life has felt like those early moments of my morning jogs when I had to keep pushing myself. “If things don’t get better by the time I reach that point, I’ll give up,” I keep thinking, and then I re-set my goal for another landmark. I keep waiting for that moment when things glide into place, when my body and spirit work together perfectly again.

I am restless. I am angry and bitter at times. I am tired.

But as I sit here on this wrought-iron bench with you this morning, sipping away at lukewarm coffee, today feels like one of those long-ago mornings at my aunts’ cottage, when I would take those soul-cleansing breaths and wipe my eyes. It feels like one of my early morning runs, and I have almost hit my stride. A few more steps, just a little farther, and I’ll find my rhythm.

And I guess that makes me an optimist, because mornings like this make me believe that I will find it, that I will hit my stride, and that my body and spirit will work together again someday soon.

That’s what being a morning person is all about.


Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

10 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Hitting My Stride”

  1. “I try to believe that every morning brings with it a chance for a fresh start, a new beginning.” My favourite quote.

    Raw and honest. Thanks for sharing and I loved having coffee with you on the wrought-iron bench.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful post – I’m glad to have a chance to sit on that wrought-iron bench with you and listen to your thoughts. May you find your perfect rhythm, and may you have a wonderful week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember that feeling of how after minutes – sometime lots of minutes – of running everything just clicked and things glided into place. I am sorry that you’ve been feeling only the “preclick” for the past while. If I lived closer I’d join you on that bench and we’d have a lovely chat. I just know. I used to be a night person but now I’m much more of a morning person. It’s a beautiful morning here and guess what? I’m out of coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello to a fellow Michigander! What a great memory of watching the sunrise twinkle on Lake Michigan. How breathtaking that must have been. Thanks for inviting us for coffee!


  5. I completely agree with you that every single morning is a new beginning, a new chance our life gives us. I’m a perpetual morning person too☀ but I can’t go for a run in the morning. My body just doesn’t feel like this 🙂 Rather, I love running in the evening sun when I have an opportunity to see the sunset. You know those 6 km are going much more smoothly 💪


  6. Fifty is a soft misty morning. You’re not supposed to see the whole thing. But don’t make the mistake of believing that you might be lost. You’re not lost, you’re just looking – you’re waiting for the next surprise.


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