Exploring the Trails - With a Twist

I have a really good friend who is a super strong runner. She runs pretty much every day and is one of those people who can actually carry on a conversation while running. Usually, if I try and keep up with her, my face turns bright red and I scare all the wildlife away with my heavy breathing. I think she actually is happy about that though because we haven’t seen anything wilder than a deer on our recent trail runs.

We try to explore the trails around Schweitzer a couple of times a week and I find that I’m becoming obsessed with tripping her. I mean that nicely. Perhaps its jealousy or frustration that my own body is falling apart faster than I’d like it to, but I find myself having to force my competitive thoughts way, way down into my shoes. It’s not her fault she’s fast or that I’m shaped like a pear. Pears weren’t meant to run.

I have figured out that if I can find a way to get her to sign up for the Huckleberry Color Fun Run & Walk on August 5th, I might have a chance. If I can strategically get her close enough to the forest urchins when they throw the colored powder at us, she might get temporarily distracted and I can scoot past her on the trail. Of course she’ll catch me on the next hill, but there’s still a chance that by the time we get to the purple color station, she’ll be so focused on dusting off her water bottle that I once again can take a sneaky lead. Plus, I’ve already tried to bribe the urchin working the orange station to take an entire cup of the powder and pour it in her shoes. I know this all sounds wickedly petty but desperate runners try desperate means. Remember that marathoner who took a taxi to the finish? I totally get that.

This kind of colorful run isn’t what my trail manic friend usually likes to do for fun but I’m sure that by the yellow color station she will be laughing. Just like all the kids on the trail do every year we’ve had the run. Because it’s fun and silly to run through the woods and have color thrown at you. It’s fun to laugh and realize that I really don’t need to worry about beating her because we both are already winning just by being outside in this amazing place.

The grand finale of the run is a massive color toss back in the village. Doesn’t matter who finished first or last, we all grab packets of blue, green, or red and throw the color high into the air. As it lands all over us, the laughter is contagious and there is no question that we‘ve all won.