Here is another sneak peek from my next book, The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny. This excerpt is taken from "The Rolling Hills Lesson."
My rural running routes present a lot of variety.At first glance one might think I only have
farmers’ fields to view while logging miles.However, within a four mile grid I can encounter a number of crops, both
low growing and taller than an elephant, paved roads and dirt ditch banks,
winding canals and a rushing river, steep inclines and rolling hills, and
livestock and wildlife including horses, pigs, egrets, snakes, blue herons, and
the occasional white pelican.I could go
on about the draft horses, cattle, geese, and skunks, but that is a discussion
for another time.It is the hills that I
wish to expound upon here.
When I encounter a short steep hill, I remind myself that it
will be difficult, but only for a short time.Most often, a short steep uphill is followed by an immediate and equal
downhill. This knowledge helps me tackle the challenge.Not only do I know that the incline will not
last for long, but that my lungs will be rewarded with a rest as I allow
gravity to work in my favor on the approaching downhill length.That short reprieve is often enough to
strengthen my resolve to tackle the next rolling hill.It is definitely helpful to my physical
ability to take on another hill.
What did I learn from the Rolling Hills Lesson?
During times of adversity, it is important to observe the
joyful moments for they will help us through our trials. If we look for them we
can find those moments.
My home in the Treasure Valley of Southwest Idaho is a
beautiful place.We have some of the
most colorful sunsets ever witnessed and they occur regularly.Unfortunately, we have another phenomenon
that also happens regularly.Many
winters the valley experiences a weather inversion. These inversions occur when
cold air is trapped below warmer air.They can last for weeks on end.No matter how blue the skies or how warm the temperatures are above the
inversion the cold air remains in the valley creating a smog-like atmosphere
that the sun does not burn through.For
many, the weeks on end of cold gloomy weather wreak havoc on emotional health
and even present physical challenges for those with respiratory concerns.There are, however, some moments of reprieve
if one takes notice.
Hoar frost during a cold weather inversion.
Hoar frost is a heavy buildup of ice or frost crystals that
seem to grow daily upon trees, shrubs, fences, and grass during a weather
inversion.Although this hoar frost is a
result of adverse conditions in the atmosphere, it paints a beautiful white landscape.The lack of air movement during the inversion
allows these frost crystals to stay in place until they become so heavy they
begin to fall to the ground in a mock snowstorm.
A change in the weather is the only hope of moving an
inversion out of the valley.Thus, the
wind that is so often a springtime nemesis becomes a welcome guest.Snow and rain in all their wetness and
inconvenience are also gratefully received as they clear the air and promise
blue skies upon their departure.
A drive upward and outward of the valley can give the
sufferer hope as she reacquaints herself with sunshine and blue skies.When viewing an inversion from above, it
appears fluffy and bright white, inviting enough for the onlooker to imagine
diving into a sea of fresh cloudy foam. Winter inversions are one reason I snow
Do not suppose that a mournful heart and a downtrodden
disposition is the only way to get through life’s trials.Look for happiness and humor along the way.
Those things will bring a reprieve from the physical and mental exertion and
will help bring you through challenge.
Have you found joy or humor in a difficult situation? I would love to hear about it.