Some memories in life embed themselves so deeply that they're like photos permanently fused to your brain. You can pull them out at will and remember the day and the moment and how it made you feel.
I've got a bunch of them and I was thinking of them on my run on Thursday. There's the picture of Iven running next to 16 month old Sam who was having trouble just running but was loving being with his Dad and holding his hand. And I was loving watching my little family - having my heart filled with joy and peace and contentment.
Then there's the smile on Josh's face. He was about 11 and he'd just placed third in the State comp for discus. It was the most beautiful smile of pride and joy. And thinking of it now can still make me well up.
The birth of my little (6'3") boy Luke was another visual memory the hasn't dimmed with time. He was my third and I had some strong ideas of how I'd wanted to birth him. I wanted to watch the process in a mirror and I wanted him put on my stomach when he was born. Looking down at that little pink, blood-streaked body on my belly and being overwhelmed with love - that's an image that will never leave me.
Four years ago I ran the Melbourne Half marathon and my sister, Julie came with me as my own personal cheer squad. My next brain snapshot is of seeing her standing, waiting for me with less than a kilometre to run. I knew at that point that I'd run a huge PB and seeing her almost had me in tears.
And then there's the image of Nelson, our old dalmatian (RIP) when he was younger and still able to run with me. We'd had the most ridiculous hail storm the night before and the next morning the hail was still there - frozen up to 60cm deep in some areas. He and I ran through the closest thing we'll ever get to snow in Brisbane. He pranced and cavorted, loving every second of the experience.
The reason why I was thinking of these on Thursday was because I had another of those moments. I've had some really ugly runs in the last week but Thursday I felt okay. I'd decided to do one of my favourite routes that's a little challenging with a couple of rolling hills. It runs past a golf course before you hit the rollers and I was pushing up the hills then cruising down the other side. I got to the top of the third hill and almost stopped. The view before me was spectacular. The sun lighting a golden trail down the river, pink streaks of a sunrise that I'd missed (even though I'd been out of bed at ridiculous o'clock), a few rowing boats dotted along the river and a flock of cockatoo in a gum tree nearby. Some times I wish I ran with a camera.