It's dark when I start. I'm tired. It's muggy. The trail goes up and twists, and my legs try to follow. I run over squiggly lines in the dirt where snakes crossed the trail yesterday. By the time I reach the top of the hill I'm dripping sweat and the sky is turning pink.
I descend into a valley, still air clinging to me along with the spider webs I have run through that were once neatly stretched across the trail from one bush to another. I run across a rickety bridge that needs more support. My foot lands in mud that splashes on my leg. I look down and see a bunch of poison oak that will probably show up all over my leg in a few days. Oops.
I climb back up to the top and stand on my favorite rock for a minute to check out the view. It's a tradition - for years I have always stood on the rock on top of the hill to take in the sounds and the quiet view. From my rock I can see the ocean and the bright pink clouds hiding what is going to be a very hot sun today.
I jump off the rock and start running again. My legs are warmed up now and I fly up a small hill, hopping over boulders and rocks. I'm smiling. Down the other side and I finally let my legs just go fast, trusting that they will find the right footing. They do. It's a lot like life - when you let go most of the time it all works out. Trusting that it will can be hard, but once you do it is really fun.
I find a new trail with a new stream to cross. I forget about time and the many things I need to get done today. I forget about pace and training - I just run because I love to run. Before I know it I'm back on my porch at home, dripping sweat all over the white concrete as I stretch, happy I have a really cold glass of water in my hand and ready to face whatever today throws at me.