Lost in the Woods, Again.

On Saturday morning, I went to Cromwell Valley Park to help with a 5K run that was sponsored by Hope’s Heroes. Hope’s Heroes is an organization that was formed so that challenged athletes could have the opportunity to participate in races alongside the community. When I arrived and saw the excitement among the racers, I wished that I was running as well.

Even though I wasn’t racing, I still was able to be a part of it all. As a volunteer, I was willing to help out wherever I was needed. Turns out I was needed on top of a hill among pine trees, by myself. With over 30 minutes to kill before the race actually started, I decided to go on a little adventure. You’d think I would have learned from the last time that I went exploring alone in the woods, but I didn’t.

I left my post and went in what looked like a promising direction. After hopping over some logs and pushing aside prickly plants, I discovered a stream beneath a little bridge and took a moment to absorb the serene setting. That didn’t last long. As soon as I saw a swarm of green bugs covering a ball of fur, I sprinted in the opposite direction. And I thought I wouldn’t be running that morning.

Once Mother Nature realized that I don’t mesh well with the wilderness, it seemed as if every living creature found humor in tormenting me. I was hoping to find my way back with ease, but that was not likely to happen. An incessant fly chased me the entire time and while running down a narrow path, Bambi leaped in front of me. You bet I shrieked and stopped short in my tracks. I caught my breath and saw another Disney character in the distance mocking me.

Luckily, I found a clearing and was able to locate my assigned position just in time. I was pretty far away from the start, but I could see (and hear) when everyone took off. Because I was near the 2-mile mark, I knew I had time before the first couple of runners would be running by me. Why not do some squats and lunges while waiting?

I must have underestimated, because I practically lunged into the first runner as he turned the corner. I guess I forgot that just about everyone can run a hilly 5-minute mile in extreme heat. Silly me.

Although the first runner was intense and didn’t mutter a “thank you” when I pointed out the ditch up ahead, a lot of other racers made funny comments as they passed by me. I even saw a little boy lose his footing and fall into the bushes. I went to see if he was okay and he told me that he was fine, he just “fell into the thorns.” Kids are hilarious.

After the race, I headed home and hung out by my pool with Jen and her boyfriend. I wasn’t planning on staying out there for very long, so I didn’t change into a bathing suit. Two hours later, I got an awesome tan. I now have a farmer’s tan, a shorts tan, and best of all, a watch tan. Too bad it’s raining today and I can’t fix my accident!

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