DINK #201 Running In The Hood

Posted on : 07-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized



I’ve started jogging again. Yep, a few of my friends and I have decided that we’re going to get in shape to run a half marathon. Not sure if I could run a full marathon with the eating program that I do and the fact that I am a slow jogger, so I will satisfy myself with the goal of a thirteen mile run. In preparation, I’ve begun yoga again and I joined the gym around the corner so that I can get my abs in shape to hold up everything (helps with preventing back pain!).

I realized today when the Paul-dog and I were jogging our route that since we’ve lived in this neighborhood (1996), I’ve run these hills and stretches with four different dogs and I’ve met some pretty fantastic dogs who live in our hood along the way. A couple of years ago there was a drug dealer who lived in a house on a back street that got progressively stranger with his landscaping decor. He had all kinds of junk in his front yard, and this was not interesting beautiful junk like the Junk Castle in south Austin, this was junk that probably in his high-mind seemed quite beautiful and made sense. I remember running by one morning and seeing him out front excitedly (and probably speeding like crazy) putting an entry way together with big rocks and fish aquariums (complete with water and fish for awhile). Somewhere along the way he got two brindle mixed pit bulls. I made it a point to greet them when they were puppies every time I ran by there and as they got older they’d run out to greet me and ask for kisses. Used to scare my friends and husband to death because they really did look mean and big—we suspected they had some Great Dane in them as well. The dogs were allowed to run around loose so the inevitable happened one day when they jumped over a neighbor’s fence and killed a pet goat. That resulted in them being taken to the pound. It made me sad but I don’t think their lives would have turned out very well having that guy as their owner.

On another street in our hood lives “Loki” who is a 13-year-old Rottweiler/Dobie mix. I just adore that dog. His pack mates are getting on in years too, a yellow lab mix (Charity) and a chow mix (Jessie) but we all know each other very well from the years of running down their street. I look forward to hearing Loki’s gleeful bark asking us to stop as soon as he sees us turn the corner asking us to say, “Howdy” before we run on (part of the reason I’m a slower runner…got to prioritize the importance of things here!)

And of course, at this time of the year new batches of wild flowers are showing up from all kinds of yellow and white Daisy-like flowers to beautiful little pinkish and lavender flowers. I love that some of us who live in this older neighborhood have an extra acre next to our properties and choose to leave it be for the wildlife and the wildflowers. Our yards may not be as “groomed” or neat looking as our newer neighborhood to the north of us, but we do have our own special brand of wild beauty. I’ve had the opportunity to watch the behavior of Road Runners, Buzzards and Crows and the Red Tail Hawk family that live in the tall trees that line the creek behind our house.

I want to remember all of this when I get into my longer runs and want to put on head phones to listen to the music that will keep my legs pumping. I’ll always love music and it really is nice to listen to on long distance runs but, for me at least, I think when I put on those head phones I turn off more than a few of my sensors so that I don’t notice as much what is going on around me and miss out on some of the gentler side of nature.

Who would have thought that I could plug into so many things going on around me in nature by just running in the hood! There’s definitely some wild part that still lives way down inside me that feels like biting the wind when I run on a crisp day like today. I’m grateful, I’m grateful, I’m grateful!! May you discover ways to find grace in your life too.

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