TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Biding Time

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.  Winking smile  Happy Running!!

Wood Creek:

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2 comments:

  1. I love this! I do the same sometimes but mostly sit on some rocks at a lookout. I need to climb a tree now! Haven't done that in a long time :)

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    1. It is much harder to climb a tree than I remembered. LOL.

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