I’m out walking the Chaparral Park loop with Mo. It’s a glorious day, the sort of day the rest of the country would be enjoying if they weren’t so preoccupied with freezing to death. Walkers, runners, dogs, geese. We stroll along and talk about life and latte. It’s a good day.
As we finish the second loop, Mo utters the unthinkable:
“What if we do the next loop in the other direction?”
You’re around someone for 20 years and think you know them. And then you find out they’re a chainsaw murderer or a “Jackass: The Movie” fan or a Republican. The other direction? Seriously? The other direction?
We’re going counter-clockwise, the universal direction for loops. I ponder for a moment whether I’m being irrational. Would it be that big of a deal to go clockwise for a loop? Sort of a rebel movement in the face of conformity. The answer: Yes.
And then it hits me. I ALWAYS used to run clockwise, the universal direction for loops.
As a lad, ALL my runs were clockwise. I hated going to the track because you were forced to run the wrong direction. Maybe because I’m left handed or didn’t want to doubt the wisdom of clocks. I truly hated running right to left. I even hated races that ran loops that direction. It had to be clockwise. Had to be.
So why am I now thinking the same thing but the opposite direction? Maybe it’s true that as you get older you move to the right. Maybe because clocks are no longer that wise, having given up their hands in favor of little numbers on a black screen. Maybe I just forgot.
Will I start running clockwise again now that I’ve been guilted? Will it bug me as I’m running counter-clockwise that I’m thumbing my nose at the most intractable rule of my younger running self?
There’s only one solution.
I will only run out and back courses from now on.
Unless I remember between now and tomorrow that I used to insist on running back and out instead.
Running is complicated …