The first few miles had gone as well as could be expected for a Tuesday afternoon this time of year. A mile or so had been spent shaking out the cobwebs that had developed through another day at work, and the Southern humidity had been true to form having all those daring to be out of doors wringing wet within a very few minutes.
Left foot, right foot....
to be found on the course that so many know so well. Up the first
little rise, dance through the first series of rocks, make the next
turn... Even the consistently ordered series of smells found along the
course, ranging from the cut grass of the adjacent golf course to the
sun-baked organics of the nearby landfill, came and went in predictable
Left foot, right foot...
Just another run on another steamy day, until, of course, the horsefly made its presence known....
through the last little bit of the course, the buzzing of flies seemed a
bit more cacophonous than usual. At first, this did little more than
create a brief note in the already stalling internal monologue.
enough, however, the quick back of the arm sting of one of Creation's
miserable creatures snapped me out of my near stupor back into the
reality of the present. A quick swat easily dislodged the beast, which
proceeded to harass me until I had vacated his territory, which extended
far beyond what one would expect for such an animal. He returned to
his guard post by the bush should I have the audacity to return...
everyone knows, a horsefly bite isn't life-altering; it's not even
really noteworthy most of the time; it's more of just a general
But to a runner falling victim to the doldrums of the
routine, a horsefly can be an ironic source of enlivenment. For the
next 8 or 9 miles, I was awake, present, in the moment. The thought of
the horsefly had vanished within minutes, but the effect was
long-lasting. It was quite refreshing to be back engaged in the
In a seemingly odd way, this annoyance of nature had
reminded me of the joy inherent in running. It can be so monotonous at
times, but the occasional jolt of sensation can remind us of the wonders
around us and bring us back to experiencing the run of the moment
rather than the mental tire-spinning of a so-called "boring" run.
I just hope I can remember this without having to find any more horseflies...