I tried something new tonight. Instead of my usual hot yoga class or the running store ladies night that I might have RSVP’d to attend (sorry, ladies), I decided to play in dirt.
You see, it was an absolutely beautiful evening. Far too pretty to be indoors. And, I am determined to mix things up during my month-long hiatus from marathon training. So, when I learned that the Dallas Running Club is hosting Monday night trail runs, I knew I had found my calling!
There is something unbelievably therapeutic about trail running, especially for someone who has spent the last year running almost exclusively on the road.
There are no cars. Once you are tucked into the thick of a good trail, you can’t even hear the hustle and bustle of the “real world.” All you can hear are trees blowing, birds chirping, water trickling, and the occasional “Bike back!”
You can’t help but smile as you get swatted by tree branches, skid down slick creek beds, and climb over bridges. It’s like someone is standing at the trailhead to strip you of all reservations before you can enter. And, in moments, you are a fearless kid again. Why does age suck away our sense of reckless abandon?
This evening, I was reminded of how my classmates teased me for being a nature lover. I was the “tree hugger” who insisted on recycling at the age of 10 and dedicated an entire science project to water conservation. In case you’re wondering, among other things, this involved a highly scientific assessment of whether a shower or a bath used less water.
In the face of this teasing, I spent a large portion of my teens trying to be a “cool kid” by running away from my tree-lover tendencies. No more.
I am perfectly happy embracing my inner granola. In fact, like most things in life, I may have taken this a little too far. I drive a hybrid, was the chair my office green committee, still serve as the household recycling police, and am seriously considering investing in a compost system.
If nature can give back to me the way it did tonight, the least I can do is give back to nature.