The road from our driveway down to the main road winds around our hill, creating an idyllic s-curve framed by the trees that line the horse farm near the bottom of the hill. Since the bridge at that bottom closed, I haven't seen my favorite S-Curve much, but a few days ago, I took it into my head to incorporate more hills into my run and, instead of running the quarter mile laps around our house, I walked to the top of the driveway and then down the road. It's hardly the path not taken, but it's rarely done on foot, let alone at a decent pace, and that made all the difference.
Swinging my arms, music turned off so I could hear the woods around me, I marched down the hill at a good clip. There's a fallen tree in front of the defunct bridge at the bottom of the hill, and I decided it was a good place to turn around.
Katy, my wonder dog (she wonders about everything), had run our trail back and forth several times and wagged her tail as I started back up the hill. She bounded up the first swell in the road, stopping at the orange barrels and 'Road Closed' sign just as the sun climbed high enough in the sky to begin casting long purple shadows on the road. Shadows still covered my part of the dirt road, but Katy was now silhouetted in silvery gold, and the mountain behind her was completely illuminated. I couldn't see the rest of the hill I had to climb, and as I started back, I felt as though I was entering new territory.
This is a place where I make time for fitness and where fitness propels the other things in my life that matter. It's a place where I take the time to savor the simple things around me.
By the time I walked back to the middle of the hill where our driveway begins, I was huffing and puffing, but I was still climbing. The climbs have gotten easier each day, and each day I add a little more hill and a little more road to the routine.
I still do my dance at the scale – finding triumph or shame on any given day. On any given day, I may find Katy, neighbor's dogs, sweltering heat or soothing cool morning air on the trail, but I always find some reason for triumph. And I never find a reason for shame.