Back to Day One on my Fitness Streak. I’m just biding time, taking it easy with some fun workouts. Late this morning, I took off into Wood Canyon for a run, first to the Top of the World overlooking the grand Pacific Ocean.
Though I didn’t work it super hard, I got in some decent elevation gain. I ran to enjoy myself, and to sweat too. I didn’t criticize myself once. I just didn’t think about my progress or performance. I simply ran.
I ran down Rockit, which is always a blast. One false step, and there’s a good chance blood will flow. This trail not only offers adventure, but great views as well. I stopped a couple times to take in trails I knew from afar – they look so different from another perspective.
From Rockit, I turned left on Coyote Run, another beauty.
And I sat on a bench beneath a tree that I’ve run past dozens and dozens of times.
Then I grew really silly, and decided to climb that tree. I crawled up a meaty branch that was so heavy that it sloped low to the ground. Before reaching the main trunk, I had risen to about ten feet above the ground, and I was sure to grind my knees into the rugged branch before making my next move up toward the trunk.
Finally I grabbed onto the trunk, now two main trunks reaching upward. I was elated to make it safety. Then I stood there for a while, taking in my quiet surroundings, including the same mountain biker race by two times. There he is:
As long as I stood between the crook of two branches I felt safe:
It’s when I ventured upward that I grew anxious and worried that I might fall. I hugged onto the trunk tightly:
When I was a child I climbed trees, and never worried that I might fall out of one. In fact, I remember falling out of a plumb tree when I was quite young. I skinned my knees up badly, and cried all the way home. But I was never seriously hurt. I used to climb as high as I could get, never concerned how I might get down.
Today, I looked for a way down with every foot that I climbed upward. And pretty quickly, I came to a point, that I figured I would not be able to climb back down. I’m not a child any more. I may act like one. But I’m 48. And so, I made my way, carefully, back down the tree. When it came to crawling back down that long, heavy branch, I grew quite hesitate. Ten feet above the ground, I figured I could make the jump instead of making the crawl. In fact, I knew that I could, because I have made such a jump in a marine obstacle race down in San Diego. Back then though, I had runners climbing up behind me, and I had to jump.
Today, no runners climbed up behind me forcing me to jump. So, I looked for another route down. Another branch, just a short bit away, thick enough to get a good enough grip on, ran parallel to mine. If I grabbed onto that branch, my feet would hang only about five feet from the ground – an easy jump. I warned myself that my weight was going work on tearing my grip from the branch. I told myself before reaching for the branch, “No matter what, HANG ON!”.
Well, it’s been too long I guess. I didn’t take into account that when I grabbed onto the branch and let my legs fall from the one upon which I stood, I WOULD SWING. Yikes. Try holding onto a tough-barked branch, swinging back and forth wildly. “Hang on!” I warned myself. I knew that if I lost my grip, there was a pretty dang good chance that I’d land on my back. Don’t want to land on my back!!!! DO NOT WANT TO LAND ON MY BACK. So, I held on, swinging back and forth. It felt like the bark tore the skin from my hands. But I held on, because it was too important not to. When I stopped swinging I quickly dropped to the ground and laughed out loud. What a dang silly lady I am.
I dusted myself off and ran off to another beautiful trail, Wood Creek. Escaping the moment (not good while trail running), but I was still thinking about the tree adventure, I came head-to-head with another runner. We scared the wits out of each other. She clutched her chest. I let out a yelp. Then we both giggled and passed each other in the forestl. About five minutes later, I stood less than ten feet away from a doe. She stood still as a statute. And I let her just stand there while taking in her presence.
I need to do “biding time” runs more often. Happy Running!!