Sunday, March 11, 2012

Up a creek

I don't know if it's because I have been reading The Hunger Games, I've become a nicer person or it was just that spectacular of a day, but I found myself taking the time to marvel at the world today.

Alison had gone to church with Alex. Jeff was playing basketball. So I got my bike out and hit the Monon Trail.

With Tim McGraw crooning in my ears, I pedaled to the trail, passing geezers holding hands on their morning walk, new parents with scratch- and stain-free strollers, and disaffected youth who hadn't remembered to put their sneers on yet.

It was a great morning ride. I'd planned to pedal up to the Jordan Y, jump in for some weight work and then pedal back home before noon. Karin had reminded me of our last trip on the trail as she came to collect the kids for church. I remembered that she hadn't wanted to go fast. She remembered that I felt compelled to loudly, verbally enforce Trail protocol.

Karin is a really nice person. She doesn't yell at people. I still contend that I was spreading needed messages to people who let their dogs cross both lanes of the trail while still holding onto their leashes; gaggles of women who couldn't bear to not walk 4-abreast, thereby blocking anyone trying to get around them; and a whole flock of people who seemed to have a common mission of holding me back.

There really were a lot of miscreants out that day. It's possible that I wasn't always polite as I dissemenated rule reminders. Karin hasn't ridden the Trail with me since.

This morning, I enforced no rules and smiled at anyone who tried to make eye contact.

I smiled at the couple whose pre-schooler was running ahead hearing the sentence that ruled Alison's Trail life at that age: "Stay to the right of the red line!"

I waved at the infant strapped in so securely that the only movement allowed was the flailing of her plump little arms.

I think I even braked for a squirrel.

When I got to the gym, it was shortly before its 11 a.m. opening. I was No. 13 of a line of 14 at the main door. I don't know how many people were at the back door. But it was quite a collection of eager exercisers.

They must have Karin-trained because if anyone was irritated (other than the front desk clerk) no one voiced it. In fact, they waved each other through the line as the two converged.

Afterward, Karin and the kids (including the fabled Corbin who I'd heard about for years but never met) and I took a little hike in Marrott Park. We crossed a creek bed on a huge, downed tree and found another one later on. The boys crossed. Alison crossed. I crossed.

I didn't remember that Karin was afraid of heights. She chose to scoot over like Alex had and as she debated her dismount, Alison went back up, reached out and said, "I'll help you Miss Karin."

Cheers erupted when she got down. But we quickly discovered there was only one dry way back over the water. It didn't take long for Ali and Karin to gauge the depth of the stream. The boys and I chose the tree; Karin and Ali splashed, hand-in-hand. In March.

"Oh my gosh. I think I have hypothermia!" Alison chattered.

We all made it back through the woods just fine. Karin headed off to a date with her husband. I hit the couch where Jeff was setting an excellent example of how to celebrate a hard work out, and the kids hit the basement. Other than knowing the Wii and the iPads were involved, I neither know nor care what they did for the next two hours. I'd delivered them tacos and pointed them to the Dr. Pepper. My work was done.

Between the work out, the hike and my effort at being the nicest person on the trail, I was exhausted. My camera in my phone seems equally tired as it won't give up the photos I took. So sorry about that.

I think I'm taking my phone to the couch. We both apparently need more R&R. Hope you had an equally lovely day. And that this weather holds.

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