Sometimes life throws a little curve ball at you and you end up in a place you never thought you'd ever be! Such is life, right? As a military service member, this happened often. I lived in places I never would have imagined living. But with each move came a new adventure, full of amazing experiences, opportunities, and lots of new friends! For me, there’s something exciting to me about picking up and moving every couple of years, never really establishing permanency anywhere. Each move has allowed me to find new running friends, routes, and trails! If you ask me about any of the places I have lived, I can tell you all about them by way of my runs I've done there.
Along my military journey, I had the privilege of living in Oklahoma, just outside of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, one of my all time favorite places to run and explore in Oklahoma and truly a gem of that area of the country. I loved watching the bison and longhorns grazing in the expansive open fields there, the amazing views at the top of Mount Scott, the many lakes, Prairie Dog Town, and the rocky and rugged terrain throughout the Refuge. And, I can't forget to mention the wind, a constant on the prairie land, always moving, sometimes fast and sometime slow!
On one of those rather windy days, I headed out for a run, but just for a short distance as I had other plans in mind to finish up my workout that day. One of my friends invited me to join her for kayaking on a nearby lake at the Refuge. I was so excited for this little adventure that I hurried back from my run, packed a few things in my backpack and headed straight out to the lake. The winds were a bit strong, so we weren't sure if we'd be allowed to kayak on the lake that day, but in end, it was a go! We made our way out into the lake's center from the shoreline. Even though the air temperature was close to 100 degrees that day, the water was cool and refreshing as I felt tiny droplets hitting my bare legs with each paddle. The skies were clear and blue with the backdrop of Mount Scott in our immediate view as we paddled. I had so much fun out on the water that day, and it was a great workout paddling against the wind on the way back to shore. I needed that little break! I actually had a different running workout in mind to do that day, but when my friend offered kayaking, how could I refuse?
Sometimes life throws that curve ball at you, and you end up training in some other way than what you had originally planned, and that's OK! I still ran a short distance that day, but I also got a great cross training workout in. This experience was a gentle reminder to welcome new experiences and most importantly time with friends! Go with the flow! I promise.....you won't regret it! : )