I've spent enough time surrounded by people far smarter than myself to have heard the concepts of being "present" and being in the moment and while I understood these as concepts it was nothing I ever thought I'd be able to achieve. My mind is like a .22 round bouncing inside a skull. Not conducive to the rigors of daily life, let alone something as difficult and deep as quieting the mind. As with most things in my life I am either a hammer or a nail and very rarely fall into the comfortable spaces in between.
During my last four or five runs I've realized that I'm able to achieve brief moments where there is nothing but the sound of my breathing and my footsteps against the earth. After spending some time patting myself on the back for serving up a few moments of peace I also realized that one of the driving factors in keeping me present is that, if I'm not, the combination of clumsiness, poor footing, and gravity become the hammer and I become the nail. Most of the important lessons I've learned in life have come from literally or figuratively being punched in the face. This is another example.
"Laying in bed tonight I was thinking
And listening to all the dogs
And the sirens and the shots
And how a careful man tries
To dodge the bullets
While a happy man takes a walk."