Monday, June 10, 2013

Inspiration Mondays: Through Perspiration

An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered. -- Gilbert K. Chesterton
I awoke yesterday morning, determined to drag myself out of the indulgences I had been enjoying over the past few days of house-organizing and cleaning. You can only eat so much junk food for so long. I opened my eyes and saw the light streaming into the bedroom through the blinds and said to myself, "I'm going for a run."

Running gives me lots of thinking time. I don't take any music or my phone: just me, my running clothes, my trusty shoes, and a watch to keep track of time. I prefer to let the landscape entertain me while I keep a commentary flowing through my brain.

I warmed up a little by walking briskly to my planned starting point, then I set off on a trot toward a trail I'd frequented during the previous week. It is a loop trail, but I hadn't yet traveled the entire loop, and I was keen to see what it was like. A creek cuts through the middle of it with the trail running on either side, and the lush greenery creates dark, damp sections that suddenly break into sun-dappled clearings of ferns and flowers. The photos in this post were taken the week before during a stroll, not during this run, in case you were wondering.

As I approached the loop, I noted other runners heading the same way. They ran onto the trailhead and turned right, following the route I'd taken the week before. Since I was in an exploratory mood, I thought to myself, "I think I'll turn left and see what happens."

I immediately began to descend down a path studded here and there by a stones and tree roots. I slowed down to take the stairs that had been built into the ground. They took me deeper and deeper into the valley carved by the creek. I'm not sure I'm going to enjoy coming back uphill at the end of this, I thought, but then I remembered that the other side of the loop had a gentle downhill slope, which was an encouraging prospect. That meant that I would be going uphill near the middle of the loop, and the end part would be relatively easy.

On and on I ran, eventually running right next to the creek, enjoying the changes in light and in scenery. I glanced at my watch and realized I was approaching the halfway point of my planned 40-minute run. I looked around and figured that, since I'd been running uphill for a while, I was probably reaching the halfway point of the trail as well.

After a few minutes, I ran past a sign that said, "1 km" and I wondered why I hadn't seen any other distance markers along the way. I reasoned that I was probably too distracted keeping my footing on the trail, which was becoming muddy in places, and I didn't want to slip and sprain an ankle so far away from home. I then emerged from the trail and found a highway, which I'd recognized as one I'd driven on the day before to get to the supermarket which I'd deemed "too far to walk to." Hmm...

I turned and kept following the trail, and after a few more minutes I found another sign that read, "1 km." Well, that's confusing, I thought to myself. Maybe they just marked every kilometre. And after a few more minutes, I came across a sign that read, "2 km." And soon after that, I emerged onto a road right next to the supermarket that I'd been to the day before... the one that was "too far to walk to." I wondered how the heck I'd ended up there, but I figured that I'd finally hit the halfway point and would be heading homeward soon. I was already at 35 minutes of running, but I thought I could take a break when I returned to the trailhead and stretch at the bench there for a while. That wouldn't be too far away now...

Except after a few more minutes, I realized I was still running uphill, and that that meant my endpoint was nowhere near. This was not a good sign. The homeward bound trail should have been downhill. I swallowed the fear the started to well in my throat. I had been running for nearly an hour by this point, and I finally slowed to a walk to drag myself up a few more hills. I wondered if the hubby was worried about me. I wasn't afraid of being lost, but that I'd run out of energy. After five minutes of walking, I passed a sign that read "3 km." Ah, I said to myself, They must have been counting downwards on the way in, and they're counting back upwards on the way out. I gritted my teeth, determined to get home, and I set off at a trot again, up and down more hills, around more trees...

It wasn't for another 10 minutes that I came across the weir that told me I was on the right path, and that the trailhead was not far away. A sign that read, "4 km" confirmed this for me.

And when I emerged from the trail after passing the "5 km" sign, I decided to keep on running until I reached the community centre. I knew my body could handle it; it was my mind I needed to keep egging on. After that, I knew it would be a 20-minute walk home. And as I walked home, I felt grateful that I'd had the good sense to wear long sleeves and a hat to keep me from getting a chill from all the sweat that was pouring out of me. I met the hubby on the way home from taking Rascal for a walk, and I told him of my adventure. In all, I'd been running for just over an hour and had covered just over 11 kilometres, which is a distance I hadn't run since last fall. Unplanned, but kind of thrilling to know. I'd already decided that, rather than dredging it up again later as a huge, scary inconvenience, I would pocket the whole experience as a fortunate adventure, one in which I'd learned a lot of lessons...

Like why all the other runners turned RIGHT at the trailhead. They probably ran for a few kilometres, then turned around and went back. Pssh. Wussies.

Oddly (or maybe not so odd for me), one of the thoughts that came into my head during this ordeal was that I had a skein of yarn that had colours that matched the ones I'd been seeing throughout the run. It's a skein of Fleece Artist that, ironically, is referred to by my yarn friends as the "frickin' kilometre of yarn." After all those signs telling me how many kilometres I'd covered, I couldn't help but think that I'd run the equivalent of eleven of these skeins of yarn in distance. That's almost seven miles, for those who haven't done the conversion yet. Equally ironic is the fact that the colourway is called "Rainforest," which is technically what I ran through yesterday.

It's been languishing in my stash for a couple of years now, and I think that it's finally time for it to become something. Talk about inspiration, huh?

You could call it inspiration through perspiration... nyuk nyuk...


  1. Holy moly - that's quite a run! Beautiful pics. And yarn too, of course. So, whatcha gonna knit with it???

    1. I'm thinking about doing a pullover version of this cardigan, but with the lace going all the way down the back: