Updated: Aug 2, 2019
4 Miles??? Who has time for 4 miles... let's bump it up and start EN-JOYING life!
For the last few years, I've gone up to the Antelope Butte Music Festival, just for the day. This year, I thought I'd change it up a bit. I'd go camping. And I'd even partake in one of the trail runs. The 4-miler. Seemed easy enough.
I was one of 3 people that chose to walk this particular race. Everyone else went running, once the gun went off. All I recall from the beginning of the race, was to look (follow) the little pink flags (the kind of flags used to mark power lines or where to plant the tree). Again, seemed easy enough.
Less than a mile in, I wondered if I had eaten enough.... I even wondered if there was a 4-mile aide station (I know you are laughing, and I don't blame you). On I went, following the pink flags, making sure I got through the water (after all there was no reason to pack another pair of socks.. it was only 4 miles. If I worked it right, I'd be done in 90 minutes). I made it up the first hill - I only know this because there were a couple fellas, with their bikes, at the top (I might add, they refused to tell me what mile I had hit), and said as much. On I continued, leaving the other 2 walkers behind me - all the other 4 mile runners gone, when I came across someone else. I caught up to her. I was feeling kind of excited and...well, proud of myself. I was going to pass someone!! #excited She stopped. Waited for me, and then asked, "what run are you doing?" I respond, "the 4-mile." She looked at her watch (that also told her mileage) and said, "you missed your turn! You are about 1 mile past the turn." I asked, "What turn? I was suppose to follow the pink flags." She replied, " you were. Suppose. To. Follow. The Pink. Flags. And then you were suppose to turn." She then said, "you can come with me, I'm doing the 8 mile." I can't lie. I was 3 miles into some race, had found another living soul... another mile, there would be an "aide" station...... or turn around. I turned around. Headed back for the sign that says "4 Milers, turn here." (or something like that).
I came across some campers, with a very nice big camper. I briefly told them what had happened and that if I got lost, I'd be back - because I knew, at least, where THEY were.
And then something happened... I started to see the land a little differently; the sun hit the path, the trees, the grass, in a new light. I saw a chipmunk. Heard the birds. Noticed the peace, in this world.
And I started to ENJOY this run. This walk. I started to thoroughly EN - JOY myself. The day, whatever it was to hold for me. And I forgot - completely - about if I had eaten enough to make it back.
I never found the "turn here." I ended going back the way I came - more or less, as I had a moment or two that the path felt - felt - unclear, so I pulled from my other experiences in life and looked for "tracks" in the dirt, rather than what appeared to be untouched.
Two and half hours after starting the race, I made it "home." There was no fan-fare, no cowbells or "whoop whoop." There was no medal won, except, I made it safely back, and had the nicest time out there. When I turned around, my mind started to create, to day dream even and I enjoyed life.