Running is a funny thing. If I am not mistaken, I believe the first “long-distance runners” were hunters. And in the more recent centuries, no such thing existed. Sure they “ran” to greet someone, or to deliver news. Never was running a recreational sport. Yet, somewhere and sometime it became just that. And now we spend a lot of money on gear, and races. We subject ourselves to strange ailments and using port-a-potties before the sun rises. How silly would our ancestors think we are? Still, I think they missed out.
Monday, I had already turned my back on my own words. Too unsure of myself, I hesitated in joining a group run. Afraid of what? I’m not sure, but I was certainly about to miss an adventure. With a good nudge from Laura, I quickly donned my running clothes, grabbed some water and started driving before I could change my mind.
After brief introductions, we headed to Tumalo State Park.
We took off and it didn’t take me long to realize that I was too slow for the boys, and a little faster than the girls. I struggled with indecision. Do I stay back, have some conversation, and enjoy the company? Before my brain could tell my legs what to do, they took off. The fresh pine scented air filled my lungs and the dirt took its shape beneath my feet and in that moment I came alive. The trail is so much more of a journey than pavement. Each turn and curve unique; rocks and sticks creating a game of leaping and dodging.
I questioned being alone. Didn’t this defeat the purpose of a group run? And then I turned a corner. Before me was a stunning valley. Wide and deep, filled with full pine trees and a river below, sparkling in the summer’s evening light. How could I feel anything but small? And how could I not rejoice in the greatness of God and His endless love for us? His creation displays it! So majestically that it’s difficult to take it all in at once.
If I had stayed at home or if I were running with the group, I would have missed it.