The best feeling in the world

I want to describe the best feeling that I’ve ever felt.

A couple of years ago, I was training for a half marathon. On one of my long run Sundays, I went out and ran 10 miles through the woods in the dead of winter. My dog was with me without a leash, so she probably ran 20 miles that day. I ran big circles around the park near where I live.

I shimmied inside after I hit the 10 mile mark. It was too cold and windy to stay out there any longer, but my under armor leggings kept me quite toasty.

I took a warm shower to begin and then dove head first into a blazing hot shower. You know, the kind that leaves your skin red and if you dare scratch yourself with your recently softened fingernails, it looks like you got in a cat fight when you step out of the shower. That kind.

In the shower, I washed quickly so I could relax and drink my ice water. It’s not a recovery trick or anything, I just really like ice water.

After drying off and with the bathroom door still shut, I diligently performed my post-run stretching routine at half speed. Normally, I spend 30 seconds on each stretch, but this time I spent a minute. A long steamy minute.

As if my hot-water-tank-emptying shower wasn’t enough, I boiled water for an oversized mug’s worth of mint honey green tea. I snuggled into my couch, wrapped in my favorite wool Navajo-inspired blanket, and continued reading whatever novel I was reading at the time.

I was asleep within 10 minutes.

Some time during my slumber, my dog snuck up on the couch and curled in a ball against me. No wonder I was so warm.

I woke up 30 minutes later, which is an appropriate napping time for me. I’m sure the tiny amount of caffeine in my tea finally hit my bloodstream.

The moment I woke up and my brain booted back up, I realized how great I felt, how unbelievably exhausted I was, and how content I was to be warm with my dog and my blanket.

That was my best feeling yet.