It was April 24th 2014 just outside Charlotte, in North Carolina, while taking a walk by a river – a never before heard voice in my head declared “You could be running.”
“Are you kidding me? I don’t run, it’s not dignified!” my rational self replied.
“You haven’t done any exercise for a long time, and all those huge breakfasts are starting to show…” The truth in this was clear to see by the tight span of my jeans over my thighs. Considering this, I look about, there was nobody in sight, hidden by the lace of Spring leaves I consider that perhaps it was time.
Time to get back in touch with my primal self.
Breaking into a gentle trot I immediately discover two things, running with a clunky necklace bouncing about on your chest is painful and delicate little pumps are not the shoes for the job. But, jete/ing (in my dreams) gracefully over small brooks, dashing (yeah right) around the trees and leaping over boulders was fun and not tiring. Have I finally found the running sport for me?
So enthused am I by my first trail running experiment I immediately set out to purchase one of those camel backpacks – I make no small plans – I have visions of hard core mountain trails, much sweating, and the need for ample re-hydration.
That very weekend I get my chance to try out the camel pack, running by the Broad River that flows through Boiling Springs. I am only in Boiling Spring because I expected to find a boiling, or even just bubbling would have been fine, spring. However, the locals tell me that they built a parking lot over the spring. There you have it.
But as I am in Boiling Spring something needs to be done, which is why I now find myself bounding(wry grin) along a seldom used trail. Here I learn yet another thing about trail running. Running on seldom-used trails will result in a face frosted with spider webs. I also learn that concentration is required, and learning to run before you jump is probably a good idea. Not inclined to take my own good advice, I get caught up in a spider web, lose concentration half-leap across a fallen tree, my back foot hooks the tree and I land flat-faced in the dirt. Fortunately, the forest floor is thickly padded by leaves, which I quickly discover harbor all manner of critters.
Falling into small game hunter mode, I shoot a small frog, a butterfly, a big black bug, a small green bug and spy a whole flotilla of turtles sunning themselves on a rock. From experience I know these guys are skittish, sinking low, into what I fondly believe looks like a graceful cat-like stalk, the turtles see me coming a mile and slid effortlessly into the green water…
I like this primal hunter-running thing; I think I shall adopt it.