I recently overcame ongoing back problems to return to the kind of shape to make runs to the Knob three times a week. It was my regular workout for years, until one holiday at home when I lifted a birdbath awkwardly trying to keep a white shirt from getting dirty.
Pilot’s Knob, if you don’t know, is a hill about 1.5 miles from camp, so it makes a nice even 3 miles, if I run there and back. It is the highest point in West Tennessee. Make sure you realize “West Tennessee” in that statement suggests that this will not be very high. We’re not talking Clingman’s Dome here. We’re probably not even talking the Colleseum where the Titans play. But, nonetheless, 680 ft is still tough on the quads.
So, I have been pleased lately to find that I can again call my jogs a routine. Today was my Friday run. Those, for me are usually the toughest, but I managed to make the entire run.
This run, for whatever reason, I was more aware of the natural surroundings than usual. The creeks and run-offs, after the recent snow and rain have grown wider and stronger. You can hear the water rushing as you pass. I saw 3 deer grazing who barely took notice of me. And, then when I reached the top of the Knob, I took a little extra time to look at the bulging river. The sounds of coyotes, yelping in the dusk, floated up over the hills. The sun appeared out of cloud, suspended above the horizen a little longer. There were ice claws hanging from the roof, dripping onto the porch. My lungs were full of cold air, but I felt warm. I felt a part of all those things for a few moments. I wanted to sit among the chestnut oaks and racoons for hours this evening, but it will be freezing soon and have too many wishes tonight already.
But, tonight I will remember those feelings, those sounds, those pictures as I lie down, darken the lamp and make my way to sleep. It will be a sound sleep.