Not an Adventure Race

reflection, natureYesterday, my steps were lively when I went for a brisk morning walk. When I set out this morning, that energy was sadly lacking.

The muscles in my legs cried out in protest. My breaths were shallow and laboured.

Several times I considered turning back. Images of the adventure race we’d watched on TV last night flickered through my mind. “At least I’m on a paved path and not slogging through dense jungle or climbing a rope up the rocky face of a waterfall,” I thought. Resolutely, I put one foot in front of the other with the knowledge I would complete the five kilometers I’d set out to do.

I slowed my pace a little and a strange thing happened. My attitude shifted. Body aches were no longer felt and my grumbling turned to gratitude for the beauty of nature surrounding me. Golden leaves highlighted by bright sunshine were noticed and appreciated. The smooth waters of the pond reflected a fountain and the shore grasses. I stopped several times to take pictures.

Attuned to my surroundings rather than racing ahead, I heard a splash in the creek and stopped to watch a muskrat barely ripple the water as it swam downstream. Had all of this been here yesterday and I’d failed to notice?

I was reminded how much I miss when I am so focused on the goal that I forget to enjoy the journey. I smiled as I continued my walk, wondering what adventure I’d find around the bend now that I was no longer racing against the clock.