After a week of weather more like Seattle than Louisville, yesterday’s respite from the rain felt like an early Easter present. With temperatures in the low to mid-60s and partly sunny skies, I was ready to break out of my house and heed the call of the wild. I had decided to embark on my first long trail run of the year. It was long overdue, and I had been missing my time on the trails a lot lately. Then, I began to look this meteorological gifthorse in the mouth.
As the time drew closer to head out the door, the excuses assembled to barricade it. I told myself:
It is quicker to just workout here at home.
There is a wind advisory, so, I should stay indoors.
The rain is supposed to return later today, so, it may start during my trail run.
I have not been trail running since late last fall. What if I cannot do it?
I told myself all of those things, but I did not listen. When I arrived at the park, those excuses were still lingering, and some new ones chimed in, too. I was not sure where they were coming from, but I knew where they needed to go. I told myself:
Just start running, and if you need to walk or quit, you can.
Just run the short trail, not the long one.
Just get it over with.
I laced up my shoes, put on my headphones, and refused to pay attention to the dialogue running through my head. As soon as I got out of my own way, the inaugural trail run of 2018 got under way. Along the way, my excuses faded away. Far away.
As I took off down the trails, I was fully present. Nothing that happened prior to the trail run mattered, and I was not concerned about what would happen afterward, either. I was focused on the earth beneath my feet, the light wind on my face, my favorite music filling my ears, and how at peace my heart felt.
The worst case scenarios never materialized, and I never had to resort to any of my contingency plans. The weather cooperated. My feet did not fail me. I ended up running farther and faster than I planned, and it felt amazing.
As I returned home, I thought about how I almost missed out on the opportunity to do something that left me feeling so happy, had I listened to my excuses. Each excuse was based on fact, and very well could have happened, but they didn’t.
Sometimes, on, and off, the trails, we have to get out of our own way to get ahead. It is easy to get mired down in the what ifs and concocting backup plans, that we end up missing out on what is right before us or achieving more we ever imagined.
Yesterday may have been my first trail run this year, but it will not be my last. There are trails to blaze and lessons to learn when I am running and when I am standing still.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story