If You’re Happy and You Know It

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.

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