When was the last time I'd backpacked alone? And I mean really and truly alone - no Ryder pup, not even other hikers nearby. I was out there in the wilderness and I felt completely alone. I was acutely aware of every noise in the forest around me and I realized I was never this worried before about venturing into the wilderness. I wasn't sure if it was because everyone else's fears of the wilderness was seeping into me, or if it was because my general anxiety about the world was increasing, or if it was just that I was venturing into wilder and more remote places and, honestly, that's scary. But I had to take this leap of faith. I had to prove to myself that I could be alone in the wilderness and that it would be alright.
You don't really realize just how repetitive the motion of running is until you try doing something else. I had decided not to play soccer this summer or fall season because of a full schedule and the propensity of picking up odd injuries here and there but when I got the desperate text asking if I could please sub for a team that was going to be drastically short some placers I said yes, and on Thursday evening I pulled my soccer bag from the back of my closet and laced up the cleats.
Awkward and anticlimatic. That's pretty much how that weekend went. Work hard, go someplace new on your own, try not to freak out about the new place or people or being on your own, and still things just play out really awkwardly anyways. Sounds about right for me. And so I ran away to the mountains where Ryder was a jerk and the sky was cloudy and obscured the meteor shower and my tripod lost its handle and I totally missed Shining Rock.
At some point this weekend while working through the piles of periodicals that I've amassed throughout my house over the past year I got restless. "I might go on a run. Did I do my long run yesterday? Or was it the day before? I don't know, but I think I'll go on a run." And so, forgetting that I'd run seven miles on Saturday morning, on Sunday afternoon I went for a little run. And I kept going for six miles. I suppose when you get to the point that six or seven mile runs don't really feel much like long runs anymore then it might be time to consider the full marathon.
How is it September already?! And it's Labor Day weekend?? I talked to at least three people this week in the elevator at work and asked them if they had any fun plans for this weekend, and they were like, "Why, what's up with this weekend?" "It's Labor Day weekend!" I'd exclaim. "What?! No way! I'm glad you told me, because otherwise I would have come in to work on Monday!" Surprise! I'm not one who usually likes surprises, but a surprise three-day weekend? You can surprise me with one of those any day. But since it's September, it means it's time for GOALS!
Four years ago on Labor Day weekend I went on a backpacking trip near Blood Mountain along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. While the hiking trip and the company was great, that long agonizing drive down to Atlanta in awful Labor Day traffic sticks in my memory, and so for the past few years I've created playlists to kick off long road trips on Labor Day weekends. This year I pulled pieces that inspire movement. It's a playlist that I hope drives you to something new, whether it moves you to go on an adventure, or to make a change in your life, or to do something good in the world. Enjoy!