I hate running in the city. The exhaust fumes choke my lungs. The sidewalk breaks my legs and back and there's nothing interesting to see anyway.
But now, now we're in Fairview, North Carolina, staying with Jaime and Adam. "I'm going running here," I told myself the second we turned off the main road to the gravel one before the grassy one leading to their driveway.
Of course, I wasn't so enthusiastic when I woke this morning after a late night drinking wine and chatting. Still, I forced myself to go. And I'm glad I did. It is beautiful here. No smog. No cars. Not even asphalt. Just a serene road shaded by pine and oak leading through the forest. It was still cool out when I left. "This is just too easy," I told myself as I made my way back to the main road.
Who was there to greet me? A min pin with buggy eyes, arf-arfing and jumping up and down in as menacing a manner as a dog like this can muster. I gave him my hand. He sniffed, and now we're friends. Then he turned to bark behind him. That's when I noticed his friend, the one I hadn't seen until just then. An enormous hybrid sort of animal with the head of a Doberman, eyes of Labrador and the body of a horse.
"Oh shit!" I thought. "No, don't come here," I told her as she trotted her way toward me. As if she would listen. So I turned around and walked slowly the way I'd come. The two pinschers followed. I figured I could continue my slow walk like this the whole way home or face my fear. I faced her. She was unbelievably sweet. And the two of them ran half way back with me.
So when I hit that half way mark, I realized why the run down had been so light and breezy. Now I was on the backswing and not having a good time of it. My lungs burned, my breathing erratic, and I was wishing badly that I had remembered to drink water before leaving the house. "Keep going, keep going," I told myself. " I even changed the music to something more uplifting. But not even Gwen Stefani could get me up that hill. I gave up and went to walk.
A minute later, the road turned and I reached the top of the hill.