I started the run wanting nothing more than to turn back home. My stomach sloshed around with the contents from the night’s dinner. Not the most comfortable feeling before exercise, but I strive to ensure our family shares the evening meal. The temperature was still more than 100 degrees, even with the sun heading behind the mountains. I was sweating before I even finished lacing up my shoes. But I was determined to work out, so I headed for the trail.
The first few minutes were rough- much more so than I anticipated. After a half mile or so, my muscles remembered that they enjoyed activity beyond sitting on the couch. I was surprised at how my body responded to the workout, as if it was hungry for movement.
I took the trail out for about a mile and a half into the desert. I’m really not sure. In the summer months, I’m a little more gentle with myself when it comes to running. I don’t track my miles and look at my time. I figure if I’m willing to work out in three digit temperatures, I should be satisfied regardless of performance.
There were no men on the trails. I wondered if women are more hardcore or just more insane. Maybe both.
Outkast’s “B.O.B” came through my headphones and I did a little dance step in the middle of the trail, assuming no one is watching. I love that song. It reminds me of the Area One festival years ago. Hippies and Ravers piled into an arena is bound to make for a good time. I thought of this giant balloon bouncing around during the Moby set. Someone placed a glowstick inside, and it looked so lovely illuminated and floating from hand to hand in the crowd.
I rounded a corner and noticed another runner. I said hello in passing, and she responded “I love watching you run. You look so happy.” She motioned with her hands to show that I was beaming.
The exchange left me beaming. My joy was multiplied thinking I somehow made her happy just by enjoying a desert run.
My headphones died, and I listened to the sounds of the approaching night as I finished my run. I was the last one on the trail, and the quiet of the evening was a perfect accompaniment to my peaceful temperament.
In the last quarter mile, I saw a coyote meandering out into the desert ready to begin her day. Most of the coyotes I see are the color of dust, but her coat had a definite golden hue. She stopped to look at me, not seeming threatened only curious. We watched each other for a few moments before parting ways.
If only all workouts could be so fulfilling. Maybe they are and I just fail to notice.