Running Joy

I had an amazing three hour run along the border of Apache Creek Wilderness.  This is one of my favorite reasons for being here.  It was a perfect wilderness run complete with rocks, water, wildlife and solitude.  Saw an Arizona Black Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis cerberus); I nearly stepped on it but it stayed mellow (as is its nature.)  Didn't even rattle.

A large bull elk crashed off the trail followed by the dogs; a red-tailed hawk circled above and landed on a large boulder;  collard lizards (Crotophytus collaris) scurried out of the way of our feet.

Ruin tank still had some nice water, possibly from the last rainfall and the dogs got a good swim.

Before dropping down into Hyde creek I saw this cool view of Juniper Mesa with a leaning agave stalk.

One of my favorite flowers, Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)...

Back at the truck with the boys.

Our bodies are meant to move like this; we are meant to run.  We are built for it; lungs, heart, legs and spine.  Since I have been running 4-5 times a week, I am a healthier and happier human than I have ever been.  My life has always been great, and now it is greater.  I am letting my body do what it wants to do.  Long, fast downhills; short, strong uphills; even, rhythmic flats.  The magic comes after I've been running about an hour; the insights, the creativity, successful resolutions of perceived problems, the joy of being present.  It flows over me and carries me along; the "high" lasting up to 24 hours after the run.

In one month some friends and I will be doing a long distance run on Hopi land.  The Paatuwaqatsi (Water is Life) run will be thirty magical miles through ancient villages and past sacred springs.  The run will raise awareness of the water issues facing the Hopi  today.  Bucky Preston (founder of the run) says:   “This was something that I had always wanted to do for many years. We are forgetting our Hopi values. We are forgetting to help each other out. I want to see that effort return to our community. Putting Hopi life values and teaching at the forefront is the purpose of the run. Why are we taught to run early in the morning? Because running not only strengthens you physically, it strengthens you spiritually. A runner would take one of the many foot trails from the village in the early morning to a spring, take a drink from the spring and sprinkle himself with the cold water. This gave that person strength and provided healing for any ailments. Everything at Hopi involves water—water is life. Now, water is being abused and is depleting. In some places, it is gone and I want to bring awareness to the people.”