Sunday, July 22, 2012

Countryside running

I love to run.  I really do, don't get me wrong.  But the reason I run isn't just that it makes me feel strong, it's gotten me in shape and made losing extra weight easier.  I run because it gets me outside.  It makes me feel wild and natural.  It's given me a reason to get more time in the woods or on the country roads that I wouldn't maybe make an excuse for, or wouldn't get as much ground covered if I were just hiking or walking.
Miller Station road - It was sprinkling when Jason dropped me off.
 I am a country girl.   Don't get me wrong, I enjoy cities.  I know they give us culture.  I like the theatre, and concerts, and museums and art galleries.  I like zoos, and science centers, I like eating a variety of different ethnic food, and seeing how people come together in places like cities to live and learn and grow.  I'll visit cities, big cities, but I'll always be a country girl.  Living in town right now is hard for me.  And I'm happy that I can run a mile and be back out in the country, running along corn fields and cow pastures.

I'm never going to know which fashion designer makes what clothes.  I'm never going to refer to shoes by who designed them unless they're a running shoe or a hiking shoe.  I'm never going to wear heels, and I'm never going to own a cocktail anything.
Gamelands access.
I do know what it's like to immerse myself in the outdoors.  I know the happiness of the buzz of insects and the songs of birds and the crunch of road gravel or dirt under my feet while I run or walk down a trail.  I know the smell of ragweed or hay or cows or horses.  I know the names of a lot of plants and trees.  I'm not afraid of bugs or spiders or snakes, though I give bees a healthy distance out of respect.

I always loved exploring the woods and fields around my house when I was a little girl.  My friends went to the mall or to each other's houses and hung out.  I did that too, but sometimes I just wanted to go into the woods and catch frogs or climb trees or just find things that were exciting to me.
 I don't live on a farm or really out in the country.  I miss it.  But I get out there.  Maybe someday we'll have a cabin or I'll be able to work on someone else's farm.  Because, nothing, really nothing makes me as happy as being out in the fresh air, doing hard work, and seeing myself accomplish something.  I think that's why I like running so much.  I do it for me, not really for anyone else.  I run to be IN the nature that I love.

Today's run was great.  I went slower than I'd like, but I saw heron and duck, an opossum.  I ran along cornfields and swamps and winding streams.
 I got 17.5 miles in, and mapped some of those country roads. I saw neatly trimmed lawns, and overgrown abandoned barns and houses.  I was chased by a couple of dogs, and waved at by a number of people.  And you know what?  It was a good run.  So get out there, run where you love, do what you want, and find your happy, even just for a little while...

queen anne's lace with bugs
country church
misty Jerusalem artichoke (I think)
French Creek
swamp with ducks

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