Running the Road Less Traveled


It isn’t a big secret.  Running and I haven’t been friends for awhile now.  Sure, we still get together a few times a week, but something was missing.

We don’t have fun anymore.

At least we didn’t until last weekend.  On the 10th, I knew Running and I needed a change of venue.  We were getting bored meeting up in the same old places, just going through the motions.  We needed to find the road less traveled so to speak.

I drove to a park where I used to meet up with other friends to run.  The roads were familiar because they are part of numerous races around these parts, but still different enough because I don’t run them everyday.  I had a general plan to start on one side of the Grand River, run to the bridge, cross and then run back along the other bank.
I’m so glad I changed my mind at the bridge.

When I crossed the bridge I saw this other wooden bridge I’ve seen many times before.  That bridge leads into more of the Millennium Park trail system but they are trails I’ve never ventured onto for fear of getting lost.  This time I decided, “Why not?”  I snapped a picture of the trail map and went straight instead of turning like I’d planned.

I found myself in a different world.  I ran on gravel trails.  There were more wildflowers than you could ever imagine.  It was serene.  Peaceful.  I found beautiful lakes and dads fishing with their little boys.

I had no pressure to hit a certain pace.  I stopped and took pictures.  So many pictures.  I found a little sandy path that lead to a very small beach.  There were beautiful birds and tons of bunnies.  I discovered if I stopped for too long the blood-thirsty mosquitoes tried to make a meal of me.  This was certainly motivation to keep moving.

I’m glad I snapped that trail picture because it was tough to know where I was a lot of the time.  But on the other hand, it was also freeing to get a little lost.  I rediscovered my good friend, Running, that day.  We spent almost 90 minutes together exploring a trail system I’d forgotten my area even had.  Not to mention, I ended up running more than a mile farther than if I’d just turned left after the bridge and headed back to my car.  It’s pretty awesome to have the endurance to go out and run 7 1/4 miles when you were originally only planning 5 or 6.

Like Robert Frost once wrote,

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

I was running the road less traveled.

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