What does it mean to be a father and husband taking care of a full work load, a wife that is on full bed rest at 34 weeks pregnant and a 5-yr old son (plus Rotary President, Relay for Life Chair, Lyon Arboretum Board, etc.) plus trying to retain the athletic skills for a calm state of mind? Well, it means finding odd hours to workout. The last few weeks, I’ve been going for a workout on the trails after it rained all day long, at around 9:00 PM. Sure, seems late but very peaceful knowing that my wife is resting with her 76 pillows and my son is dreaming of Bakugan games after I read him Ferdinand the Bull. No, running at night after a nonstop 15 hours of work is relaxing, and running through soupy, muddy, ‘cakey’ trails is perfect!
This past Saturday night, I was out on a normal run with all my survival gear and expensive lights when I came upon a group of hikers. The sight of my lights seemed to startle them a bit, so I gave a popped off a friendly quiz: “Are you guys just starting out?” The question was meant to assess their state of mind as most lost people usually deny that they are in a ‘pickle’. Without a phone, light, food or water, I knew the answer but wanted to assess the situation first from my many years of experience and also back county medical training. They were also barefoot and very exhausted. We exchanged some words to which I surmised they were out all day, got lost, got injured and were basically stuck! But some how they managed to feel their way through the trails while slipping everywhere to which two were injured from falls. I quickly decided to give up a light to a guy in the middle, and I carried the lady most injured with my headlamp from the end of the train of seven hikers. We hiked through the mud talking story and staying upright with the eventually completion of their trail adventure to which I quickly departed returning to my regularly scheduled run – alone in my solitude once again.
And just a quick note of what solitude I find on my run. I received an email from a friend who is raising money for a young boy fighting a touch cancer battle. So I reached out to his website to offer kind words of support. I received an email from his family that he is still fighting strong. Just thinking of a young child that courageous truly inspires me to keep pushing on.
See ya on the trails! Paul