This is what I kept telling myself today while running Laurel Ridge Trail. I’ve had roughly 30 years of experience with this town, and yet I had no idea this trail wound its way through our little park at Lake Lanier. But I needed something different today, something other than the miles of Greenway that I know inch by every inch. I needed something to occupy my body so intensely that my mind would have to focus on the task too. I was having a hard time finding a good challenging trail that wasn’t an hour’s drive away, so I settled for this one. The Web site didn’t indicate that all that big a deal, but I always forget: they’re talking about WALKING. When these Web sites rank a trail as easy, moderate, or nosebleed inducing, they mean for hikers.
So yeah, particularly in my first full week back after The Illness, Laurel Ridge was enough of a challenge. It’s no Appalachian Trail (i.e. breathing possible throughout) but it was enough of a challenge to do its job, which was to keep my mind busy. I won’t get into why I needed this, because by sharing what’s so heavily on my mind, I’d be sharing what’s so heavily on a couple of other people’s minds too, and that’s not fair. But let’s just say, hills were the only way to edge it out. So I found some. And it was pretty too. I took pictures for you, just because I like you that much.
Funny story about these steps. This is just the beginning. There are many of them. But that’s not the story. The story is that on the way back, these are at the end of the loop. I was finished with my run, and in that relaxed, the-world-is-marvelous post-run. I let the guy behind me go ahead. I notice that his shoelaces are untied, so I holler after him, You need to tie your shoes, love! And then I thought, WOW. Maybe not your best idea, Juli.