Monday, April 11, 2011

A flooded trail

On Saturday morning, I was less than a mile into a 7.5 mile run (running with someone who was less than a mile into a 20-mile run) when we ran past a sign that said the trail was closed because of high water. I actually thought, "That's weird. Why is that there?"
Well, because the trail was entirely underwater.
It took a second to realize that the trail did not lead directly into the Jordan River, as it appeared to two agape runners. The trail ran down along the side of the river, but with the winter of never-ceasing storms, it had completely overflowed the low bank and had swallowed up not only the trail but a good 20 feet west of the trail here.
Then my running partner said, "Maybe on the way back, but not now."
We turned around to see if we could find a way to cross the street, but it was all fenced off. We turned around, and I realized he was going to run through the river (note: it was snowing), and I'm just stupid enough that if he did it, I was going to do it too.
I, however, being both less tough and less focused on the trail, had noticed something -- a little dirt trail that appeared to lead under the bridge. I didn't see how far it led or if we'd end up crawling under the bridge, but I pointed it out. It turned out to be exactly what we needed it to be, and the detour barely counted as a detour.
Laying in bed later that night after a) going hiking in the snow, and b) going dancing wearing a mask and heels, I had this moment of inspiration. Life is like my run (NOT because it's only good when it's over). You have somewhere to go and a way to get there. Most of the time, it goes more or less according to plan.
However, sometimes the planned way to get there doesn't work out quite right. That doesn't mean the destination is bad or even the way I'd figured on is bad, simply that it is not going to work, and if it does, it's going to make life significantly less pleasant.
And when that sometimes happens, you can give up, you can keep plowing through that way, or you can look for another way to get to where you're going.
Life is like that unofficial little trail sometimes. You have to pay attention to more than just the pavement in front of you. You have to seek out other ways. Maybe you have to get on another path completely.
The moral of my little story? When life blocks your path, find a nontraditional way around it. And above all else, just keep going.

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