Sam in Nature?

After sitting in the house for the last couple of days getting over being sick, I’ve been reading “wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I guess the combination of that and not having been outside for days had made me crave smelling the fresh air. Yesterday I got a call from my best friends in the whole world that they signed me up for the little rock marathon!! Of course that just made my craving for the outdoors bigger. When I was breathing through my nose waking up this morning I was filled with excitement to get my 12 miles in today. After all we’ll be getting some icy weather the rest of the week. Since reading “wild,” I’ve suddenly gotten excited about the idea of backpacking.. Even though I’ve never as much as went camping before.. The idea of sleeping in a tent and shared showers has always kept me away.. And don’t even get me started about the bugs! But if Charlie would go I’d feel safe! Even though I would somehow have to figure out how to keep my under arms perfectly shaven.. I’m not about to become a cave woman! With romanticizing the idea of backpacking I figured I should probably practice.. I looked to see if there were any trails close to me. I was enthused to find out that there was actually several trails around me!! Mostly not longer than 3 miles. That seemed too short to even get in my car for. Today I drove to the longest trail I could find that was close.. A good 11 miles! Perfect, I would only have to add 1 mile to do my 12 run today. Convincing myself I was over my cold I drove to the trail to begin in the 30 degree weather. The weather wasn’t gonna bother me, after all I was wearing layers of clothes. After finally finding the trail I read the notes on the board. It explained there were 2 loops, one of 5 miles and one of 11. Without even thinking twice, I decided to dive into the 11 mile loop. I started and realized it was a lot harder than I thought to “run” this “hiking” trail. Deciding it would keep my mind busy jumping over puddles and rocks I continued. After about 5 miles my music stopped.. No service.. I took my headphones out and realized I needed to be listening to nature anyway. This was a mistake, I was frightened by everything I heard, squirrels running into trees, birds flying off, and even the sound of my hair swishing back and forth against my layers of sweaters. What could be out here.. Mountain lions! First thing that popped into my head every time I heard leaves move. Why didn’t I carry a weapon? I started thinking, what if there was someone hunting here.. Thinking he saw an animal and shooting me! What if it was hunting season! I tried to figure out when hunting season is, but I had no clue.. Could that be why my car was the only one parked at the trail? Or what if there was a crazy serial murderer just waiting for girls like me that are stupid enough to go run on a deserted trail alone without cell service. I thought about putting my hood on so I could be mistaken for a boy, but as I grabbed the hood of my sweater I realized it was pink.. Bright pink.. That wouldn’t work. I had to stop thinking about all the negatives, after all I was already 7 miles in. Only 4 miles and I was off the trail.. Right? I was trying to remember if it was really a loop, did I read that right? By mile 9 I took my phone to see if I could get any service, but it wouldn’t turn on.. The batteries were dead. I little panicked I realized it was about to get dark, what if I wouldn’t get back to my car and it’d be dark!? What if Charlie had been calling me? He would be worried cause the run has been taking me longer than usual. I started trying to pick up my pace, and there I went, face forward on my hands and knees onto the rocks and mud. Immediately I bounced back up, feeling my shoulders ache. But I felt proud, in a weird way, like I just overcame that fall. Just popped right back up to continue running. But then the worry of the sun setting came back, still no sign of the end of the trail. I stopped to read the small text on the diamonds I had been faithfully following along the trail. It only told me that I’d be fined with 10000 dollars if I would take it off the tree.. That’s it! No other information. I started thinking about the walks in the woods I used to take with my parents and grandparents, and how there was always a sign every half mile or so letting us know where we were. Here there was no sign.. No way I could ever know where I was.. I told myself to stop being so dramatic, that’s when I saw a sign saying there was a stop sign coming up. Yes!! I was about the cross the road!! But no, it was a crossing leading to other trails, 3 other paths to choose. I just went straight, hoping this would lead me to my car. For a second I stood still, thinking maybe I should go back a couple miles where I saw a road, I could wait until someone drove by. Or.. I could have faith that I was almost at the end of the loop, like I thought I remembered reading. I kept running forward, and to my relief, around the corner I saw my car!! There it was! Victory! I did it! 11 miles on the trail, I ran another extra mile to complete my 12 miles for the day and jumped in my car, right before sunset. I was so proud! I could’ve done the 5 mile loop and have been smart, But I would’ve missed out on this competition with myself. When I watch the biggest loser, I always feel bad that the contestants don’t realize how much they can do.. I’m the opposite, I think I’m a superhuman sometimes. Thinking I can take on any challenge.. It’s not always good, cause I’ll get angry with myself if I can’t make a 14 mile run and only do 10 for example. I don’t know why I do these things, I don’t know why I’m so idiotically stubborn.. But it got me where I am so far.. Living in the USA like I always dreamed of with the man of my dreams and an annoying little cute puppy. I will sleep good tonight 💪

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One thought on “Sam in Nature?

  1. Good for you for getting out there. Trail running will become more fun if you can relax. I find a lot of people run in groups when they are on the lonely trails. It helps with the jumpiness and the getting lost. Stay relaxed and have fun.

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