Today was an incredibly productive day. It was just one of those days where everything lined up and I got a lot of tasks completed. I happily got a lot of tasks completed. I knew I had a workout to do but it was only 45 minutes of cross training and I knew it would easily fold in to the day. By 5pm I was finishing up my work and I was tired so I laid down for a little bit. I bolted awake at 6:15pm feeling better but kind of cranky, and knowing I had to go get this workout done. I couldn't bear the thought of going to the gym and being inside, which is where I need to go to cross train. My only other option was to do some rucking, or walking with weight, and that I could do outside. So I loaded up my backpack with my 20# sandbag and headed to a local trail.
During the ten minute drive I could feel how crabby I was--the other drivers were bothering me, driving to the trail was bothering me, and I was hungry but wouldn't be done with this workout until 7:45pm. And now I was mad that it was so late--well, it seemed late. I stepped out of the car in the parking lot of the nature center and realized I was mad about something that I made up in the first place. I had decided it was late, but it wasn't late or early or anything, really. It just was right now. And I had a great day, and I now I get to end it with a workout. So I strapped on the backpack and headed for the trees.
Within minutes I was on a soft, cushiony trail. I was already sweating up a storm even though the pack felt pretty good. I was thinking how six years ago right now I could not have imagined the great day I was having, and I certainly could not have imagined ending it like this. I was huffing up a hill realizing that six years ago I would have been carrying my current self, plus the twenty pound pack, plus another thirty six pound pack just to equal the weight I was carrying on my body. Not to mention the weight I was carrying in my spirit.
If there was any ounce of cranky still in me it left with that thought. I walked up and down the trails and across a field and a bridge and then circled back. I was drenched in sweat and swarmed with mosquitos and maybe as happy as I've felt in a long time. It's a Friday evening in July and I'm walking under a canopy of trees on a quiet trail, stopping to feel the random breeze on my face like a Golden Retriever. My mind is quiet from a day of good work. It's quiet from feeling the gratitude of how far I've come--gratitude that I made the journey in the first place. And it's quiet because tonight this trail is my gym, and it's exactly the right place to be.
When I pared down the running calendar pages on my wall at the beginning of the year I distinctly remember holding this one--This is My Gym, with the mountains in the background. I almost didn't keep it. I am so drawn to the idea of it, but it's often easier to go to the actual gym or to run out the door from home, especially when you live in the city. But something happens out in nature. I got peaceful pretty quickly. I found myself pretty quickly. And I was flooded with gratitude effortlessly. It took the already great day I had had and expanded it somehow. I realized there is a whole other level of me to find if most of my training were happening on those trails.
And now it's almost midnight--actually late, not made up late. I've had a big day and I have to finish writing this and get it posted; I have to keep my promise to myself of writing a post everyday until I've covered every calendar page on the wall. I wasn't sure which one I would write about tonight. I cleaned up after dinner and lit the candle on my desk, and searched the wall for what to write. This is My Gym jumped right out at me.
I love being out in nature and there's so much more running can teach me on the trails. I think I'll sign off and go put my trail shoes by the door...