Thursday, September 6, 2007

born to not run

As my sister's blog sometimes includes inspirational accounts of exhilarating running experiences, I thought that I would take a rare opportunity to describe my own recent fitness endeavor. I ran yesterday.

It hurt like mad. My legs hurt and my arms hurt the entire time I was running, and they still hurt now. It was not enjoyable in any way. I had not run since last year at this time. I can only remember some of the scenery, besides all of the other people in pain.

I noticed the white dog at the chai shop at the bottom of the hill near a sort of saddle of the mountain. That dog always seems to be crazy and mean, but they keep it tied up so it cannot attack people walking by. I will never understand the people around here who raise dogs to be wild, starving, and crazy beasts. I think my experience in India has significantly decreased my ability to understand the need for pets.

I noticed a string of Buddhist prayer flags hanging across the road. The flags are colorful sheets of cloth about the size of a piece of A4 paper. They never cease to remind me of the plastic flags at car dealerships and fireworks huts in the states. They have prayers printed on them with ink and a big woodcut stamp and a roller. We saw some old men making them in McLeod Ganj, at the temple where the Dalai Lama spends most of his time. When the prayers are completely faded off, they will be answered, the Buddhists believe. Some of the flags are bright and new, and others are tattered and gray.

I noticed a streamer of brown cassette tape twisting in the wind. I remember that because I have always wondered how that stuff gets caught at the top of a telephone pole. I think I remember wondering that during last year's race at the same curve in the road. It's the curve on the downhill stretch right after the turnaround by flag hill. Right before the black plastic squatter shack with the donkeys outside.

I noticed a little rivulet of water coming down the side of the mountain right by the road. The locals will find a big flat leaf and bend it like a taco shell and use rocks to weigh it down inside the miniature stream. This makes the water spout outward from the side of the mountain rather than trickle down the rock and dirt, and they use it to fill buckets or wash hands or get a drink. I think that's clever.


  1. Don't stop running...just ease into it. Just imagine all the good you're doing for your CV system with all the extra walking you're also doing, especially up hill. The icky monsoon will soon be over and beautiful Fall will reign. More runnng...more walking.

  2. nate - i am so happy to see you've been posting regularly here. i've always found both your photographs and writing delightful. i will have to come back to visit more often!

    i've always wished i could be a runner, but it is just not in me. and considering the great volume of things i DO like, i think i'm past the point of exerting much energy to acquire another hobby. sigh. old at 24. i do not know how that happened....