Love hurts, even the love of running.
Last week I was visiting Nijmegen, my hometown. My parents were moving out of my childhood home. Naturally they could use a hand.
As it happens, some of the most beautiful, quiet, challenging trails I know are near the slightly boring city I grew up in. So I went out of a few times on my broken-in but still pretty much spotless new trail runners by Saucony.
Holland is in the midst of a deep freeze, too, and the paths were both crisp and slippery. Having forgotten that the soft shoulders along the roads of Holland are mostly made of heavy wet clay, I made a mess right away.
I love the cold air and overwhelming vistas in the northern sunlight. Running in these woods gives me peace, as it has for decades. Even when I was not a serious runner –or any kind of runner, really– I liked being here and taking on the steep hills. Yes, Holland has some hills, and they are here.
Interestingly, I managed to get lost at some point in the region I grew up in. Without a recognizable trail in sight I just cut through the woods, uphill toward the road I knew. Of course I was running in shorts. The frozen underbrush was unforgiving and cut open my ankles. Also, the new shoes got an excellent bath of clay, dirt and mud.
Back at my parents’ new home the mix of dried blood and mud looked cool enough for my mother to shake her head in disbelief, and for me to use the iPhone for proof.