Slow down … and see what you’ve been missing

“Have you ever noticed,” I said to Traci one morning last week, “that I’m never the one who suggests a trail run?”

Trail 5 takes us past the buffalo at Oubache State Park, shown in this photo from the Indiana DNR.

This was a revelation to me as well, but once the thought popped into my head, there was no denying it: I secretly dread trail runs.

I like the idea of being out in nature. I love the scenery. But when I’m lacing up my shoes, I always feel like I’m prepping for a grind.

Except this time it isn’t. So why is it that I enjoyed this trail run more than any other in recent memory, despite the fact that I’m tired and sore from a parents vs. kids scrimmage at Colleen’s soccer practice the night before?

Because this time we don’t push the pace. Instead of attacking the trial, we experience it. My mind isn’t constantly racing ahead, fretting about how far until we get to or through the tough stretches. It seems satisfied to just be, to simply take everything in as we go.

And when we finally do get to the tough part, the inevitable slog suddenly doesn’t seem so daunting. It looks prettier than I remember, too.

“Maybe we should always go a little slower on trail runs.”

I don’t remember which of us says it first, but it seems to make a lot of sense.

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