Running down the dream

I’m big on efficiency. I like to kill two birds with one stone WHENEVER possible. So…even though I have some knee issues…I decided I could cover more ground (see more new things!) today if I ran. (My friend Kat and I decided this was the way to do things one winter in college. It was freezing. We had places to go. Walking took too long. So…we pledged to always and only ever run places — from there on out. It may be a very efficient mode, but I think we all know that didn’t last long. For one thing: sweat.)

Sweat was a big part of today’s run/exploration. There was the first layer, fresh skin hitting the heat, then the oh-shit-I-have-lost-most-of-my-body’s-water-content, then the sweat of panic over not knowing where I was, and then finally, the dry sweat film that powders in the sunlight and makes you look al-most like Robert Pattinson when he’s a vampire.

We started out the run by heading east through downtown (not the largest city; this takes about 35 seconds if you’re jogging) – then headed north. I had it in mind to check out Bee Field — an area that a local told me would be good for my dog to run about, leashless.

Bee Field was not far, (just over a mile), but the getting there was rough. The sun was overhead and beating down cruelly, and as I mentioned in my first post, there are no effing sidewalks. So I was treading the fine line between country road (read: where semi-trucks are driving as fast as they please) and deep ditches. I’m sure I expunged some extra calories in the mental navigation department alone.

After we made it to our destination, things got calmer. No cars. No people. No dogs. Just a bunch of soccer fields, all strung in a row. We trotted through them; I stopped at a bench and did some push-ups in an effort to look cool (to myself, I guess).  When I thought we had reached the end of these fields — that’s when things got interesting. There was a sign for a trail under a thick canopy of trees, and while I had no idea where the trail would/could end, I thought, what the hell. I’m jobless, semi-homeless and alone in the wilderness with a dog. If not now — then when??

I took the trail.

It was gorgeous. Just well-tread enough that I knew it’d been used before, but empty. No one around. Which is awe-inspiring, but can be a little creepy. I kept thinking, if there were a cannibal around these parts, this is EXACTLY where he’d hang out and eat the people. This is EXACTLY where.

We were coming around a little bend when we heard a large “BOOM!” Both Bela and I stopped [un-dead] in our tracks. It sounded like a gunshot. Now, I drove past a sign the other day that said ’91 Days until Deer Season’. But people don’t care about rules and Bela looks a damn lot like a deer.

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(Wasn’t exaggerating, was I…?)

I thought about turning around and running like the wind back towards the soccer fields, but frankly — I was tired. Hot. So I forged ahead instead. And low and behold….the sun-drenched trail ended about 10 minutes later….at the dog park. Bela was beside herself. I entered, let her get into the swamp puddle, and waited while she waded.

I walked all the way back home with a sense of wonder….at the trees, the breeze, the path that unfolded before us today.

I left my job and my former place in the world for this very thing. To reconnect with that sense of wonder at everything around me, and to let a new path unfold in front of me.

I’m excited for it.

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