It’s 84 degrees in late October and there’s not a cloud in the sky. The wind has even taken the day off. Kermit couldn’t be happier.
It’s one of those days that would have you featured in Runner’s World if you were a 28-year-old supermodel. Which you are not. But still.
It’s the sort of Sunday where you just want to run forever, or at least until the Body Glide starts to break down. The sort of day that reminds you this is play, this is joy, a happy ending told in three parts. Boy meets trail, boy loses interest in going to work later in the day, boy remembers pesky bills coming due in a couple of days.
A hippie (yahoooooo hippies still exist in the world!!!!) is doing some sort of insane Extreme Yoga on the beach. He goes through the normal poses, but then slams himself into the sand repeatedly. The Crazy Homeless Guys watch him, likely thinking “and they call US crazy.”
The cover band at the beach cafe on the course is playing “House of the Rising Sun” as you go by the first time. WHY THE HELL DOES ANYONE STILL PLAY HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN??????? This is one of the great mysteries of mankind, along with how they built the pyramids and why the Medium Chocolate Frosty doesn’t taste nearly as good in the clear plastic cup. But on the way back they’re playing “La Grange” and your faith in mankind is restored.
A 4-year-old boy tries to race you and takes the lead. You consider tripping him till you spot his parents. Damn.
You think about the guys just finishing up now at Bandera. A different world. You send them good thoughts. Maybe the sotol was their friend.
As you wind down the last mile and your knee starts to remind you of reality, a guy about your age is pushing a wheelchair up ahead.
In the wheelchair is a very frail elderly woman, clinching the leash to a poodle. She slowly, painfully rises from the wheelchair, and with a little cane, walks. She takes a few steps, slow and tentative. The poodle stands and watches curiously.
As you veer right to head home, you watch over your shoulder as she continues her trek. One step at a time. A life lesson waiting at the end of a run. Take life one step at a time. That’s enough. Your knee doesn’t hurt that much after all.
Home. Happy. Just another run in October …