There is a trail close to home, one that I thought I knew very well. I raced my friends there in high school. Every summer throughout college, I used it to break up my longer runs. It’s a 2.3 mile path, a circuit I’ve completed literally hundreds of times.
I knew where it offered shade, knew each slope in the land, knew places where water collects, knew where to sneak off to relieve myself. I had watched this path roll underfoot so many times that I can run it in the dark without fear.
It wasn’t until last week that I actually saw it.
For the first time in a while, I was running recreationally. I was out for the joy of running and nothing more. I could lift my eyes from the trail, derail myself from the established route. And when I did, I found that I hadn’t known this path at all.
I could wax romantic about the panorama that appeared there. I‘ll spare you. Suffice it to say that the lake had become more than an obstacle to circumvent, the valley slope more than a pattern of inclines and declines, and the path more than a fast surface. Suddenly my trail had become a pocket of beautiful nature, nestled in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Is this why people like trail running so much? Because I think I suddenly understand it.Share on Facebook