Each weekend I have the privilege of running with my daughters. They are still light runners but it won’t be long before I have trouble keeping pace.
Our formula is as such. In other words, this is how we roll.
If the youngest wants to come, we run a short trail. The more bumps and hills, the better. She calls it Par Core running. If the trail is straight and flat, she often slows down to a crawl, or a walk, at least. But on the uphill, curve, bridge, or some other feature, she turns on the gas.
On days in which I need a longer run (at least 3 miles) the older sweeties come with me. But they bring wheels. Usually rollerblades. Sometimes a mountain bike or a scooter. They roll a little faster than me. So they are creative with their progress.
Recently, I decided to scooter with my cutie and it almost destroyed me. I do not use those muscles on a regular basis. That gave me increased respect for the athleticism of that 9 year old.
The following video is from two different runs.
Overall, I am so blessed to spend times in the woods with my favorite people in the world.
How do you exercise as a family? Oh, by the way. My youngest daughter usually ads a little segment of riding on dad’s back. I have to pretend I am carrying a 50 lb backpack for a tenth of a mile or so. Those muscles come standard in dad’s…
As you can see, this was a lot of fun. Anytime in Florida when you can exercise in the rain without lightning and thunder…
I was wondering what the best running shoe is for wet weather. That has been my frustration with trail shoes. I believe that not all trail shoes are tested with wet weather. Many of my shoes have proven to be super slippery on roots and rocks during the rain.
I have even resorted to wearing some glorified water shoes to go running in. They are great for traction. Very low to the ground of course. But the bottom is constructed of rubber that is very similar to that of a tire. Some of my shoes have more of a slick rubber.
What is the best wet weather running shoe? I’m talking off road here.
I have always been able to run, praise Yah! But I don’t think I ever really enjoyed it until recent years.
I always saw it as necessary for whatever sport I was involved with. I need to get to base quickly after that sorry excuse for a hit. I need to get to that ball before that big dude gets there. I need to get past these guys before that one over there tackles me and makes grass another food group.
A couple years ago, I must have run through a portal of some sort. I found myself looking forward (I know how that sounds) to a daily run.
Every shoe was graded on how “runnable” it was, even if it was a work shoe.
I actually started reading about running. Why not? Why, actually?
Man, I saw a bunch of movies in the eighties about going out there and finding one’s self. Vision Quest, Razor’s Edge, Weekend At Bernie’s. I had friends who went on journeys across the country or to the Jiffy Store in search of the real “me.”
Well, I never knew anyone who came back having found their-self.
I love this version of the Keith Green Song “Run To The End Of The Highway.”
I Found More of God – That’s Where I Found Me
Out there on the trail, with squirrels jumping around, I started to hear from God… And I tell you, it just kept coming, the words of revelation. I really started to face things that I had run from (how ironic) for 30+ years.
What have I learned from running. And most have little to do with running?
I could go on and on but I would rather be running, so here is a simple list. I can elaborate later, but I just need to get these out here before I chicken out.
I am gifted with what most call A.D.D.
I grew up in a family that was rocked by substance abuse.
I was drugged and abused one time, as a teenager. Never talked about it.
I can run a half-marathon.
I can run almost daily and still not achieve my ideal weight. It will take more strategy than that.
I made many self-destructive choices while pretending to be in control.
I like running because God wants me to run.
My Father-God loves me beyond my understanding.
Plantar Faciitis possibly saved my life.
I now know how to eat.
Deer get used to the sound of my voice after a while.
I don’t ever want to stop running, even though I already know I will slow down.
I know what causes migraines for me, and how to keep them away, for the most part.
I am 500% more confident.
I am comfortable in my own skin.
I have much more inspiration coming. To be continued.
Trees are good for my mental health.
God has given me keys to unlock doors.
A real enhancer for the running cure, for me, is the addition of trails as the setting. I love nature. I always have. Running outdoors, in the forest, makes outdoors a real thing for me, and not just a screen saver.
Quid Pro Go
If you make the time to go outdoors. If you treat it as you would a doctor’s appointment, you can gain tremendous benefits from your exercise. The gains can far outweigh the downsides of weather and sweat.
You might want to consider getting on the trail and stepping it up a little. You might be surprised. I feel like I must give a disclaimer here: results vary, and blah blah, see your doctor before you….
Do you enjoy exercise, to the point that you joyfully embark on each session?
I’m calling this the South Loop because there is a whole bunch more to show of Lafayette to Heritage Park. I can connect to other parks via a great little system of trails here in Tallahassee.
But I just shot this little video of a spider and of the trail to give you a sense of the nature here.
I usually start out with what I’m calling the South Loop. There is a large lake here where a lot of people come to fish. There are some man-made structures if you will which are making it easy for people to come and fish. They call them fishing fingers. I had never heard of such a thing. They’re like docs made out of dirt essentially. I have never fished here but I see people doing that daily.
Most notably I watched a small boy, probably 5 years old, pull out a bass that weighed probably about 5 lb. And this young boy was so thrilled He was just shouting and jumping up and down in joy.
The park is popular, I would say. But not crazy popular. However, during the covid 19 thing, many more people have been coming to Lafayette Heritage Park to get outside.
Our organization had a 14-day stay-at-home policy to flatten the curve. I went to Lafayette Heritage every single day. I just went earlier than I do now. This is my after work wind down activity. I usually run the South Loop and then connect with the path that goes around the lake, and by the time I get back to my car I will have run a little bit over 3 mi. on days that I want to stretch that out I either go twice around the lake, or I connect with the northern Trail.
When I get super inspired I veer off and connect with another park which has a vast amount of trails as well. I can’t remember the name of that park right now. I don’t really go there and see a sign. If I drove there I would likely see the sign that’s at the entrance. But I’m the sneaky trail runner who gets there from the back door.
In the video I show the jet black spider that crawled across the trail as I was running. I had to turn around and shoot video of that little guy. I found him a bit interesting. Slightly larger than most spiders that I see. But smaller than a tarantula. He kind of looks menacing to me. Frankly, I expected him to walk away instead of letting me get that close to him. Remember with a cell phone you just don’t have the ability to zoom in so much. So I was pretty much right on his face there.
Do you have a home court? Where do you go when you need to get outside and get fresh air? Have you been able to exercise outdoors during the Covid scare?
And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
– William Shakespeare
I met this beauty on my recent run at Lafayette Heritage park.
I was about 50 when I discovered that running is fun.
I had been running to lose weight but I found somewhere on that trail that I was enjoying it.
I soon began to look forward to each day’s run.
I began to learn some things about myself that I probably should have known. Apparently, I had pushed back several issues for decades.
Throughout this blog I will discuss each revelation in detail. Here are just three things I learned while spending time with God in the trail.
I have ADD. This explains why running is so effective for me. It captures me. It forces me to spend this quality time with my Creator.
I suffered from off-the-chart insecurities. These things should have been gone after high school but for me, they were the die hard kind.
Baby, I was born to run
I have some deeply personal insights to share on this journey.
Fair warning. I don’t wish to bore you or burden you with drawn out embarrassing stuff. I simply wish to share because I’m not ashamed of this journey, and perhaps you may find a little insight about yourself by hearing some of my story.