I feel compelled to write today.

Writing is how I process emotions.

I want to let the emotions out, sit with them for a little, and then put my big girl pants on and move forward.

It took 7 miles this morning for me to process why I was on the verge of tears. 7 silent miles, listening to nature and the sound of my breath.

Why am I so upset about this change? It’s a trail Dorothy, a paved unmoving trail; only it has now moved and I don’t like it. I don’t like it one single bit. I understand why it had to change, why it could no longer be what it was once before. I fully comprehend why it’s better for most involved that it is now different; yet it doesn’t make me like the change any more.

I’ve had a lot of change in my life.

As I ran I analyzed the years of my life since I graduated from college in 2003. I counted 8 moves, 3 wonderful surprise babies in 5 years, 4 jobs and who knows how many temp and seasonal positions.

In those years I’ve run 30 marathons and fell in love with running.

I fell in love on this trail.

When I dug down deep into my box of emotions I realized that in the 33 years of my life, there hasn’t been much that has felt constant.

I grew up in a very religious family. My grandparents owned the Christian school I went to till I was in 8th grade. At every point I can remember I either had my dad, an uncle or another family member as the principle of my school, my grandparents as the headmasters. When you are a child, school is your life.

I knew more “adult stuff” growing up than most little kids do. I was also in a hurry to grow up; my dad always joked that I was the editor of “Modern Maturity Magazine.” Eves dropping on my parents conversations was my thing. Being as that the school was not only where I went to learn, but also part of the family business – I knew things that, as a child, stressed me out. The school moved around from place to place, not by choice but out of necessity. We moved from church to church, building to building, occasionally moving during the school year {This is but one example of the constant change I’ve felt since I was little}.

Things never stayed the same. Because of this I feel as if I grow attached to things faster and have a need for certain things to stay the same.

The W & OD Trail was one of the constants in my life. The thing never changed. Year after year it was the same.

Trail 2014

 

During the 7 miles I thought about what has been constant in my life. What hasn’t changed and the only thing {non-religious, since I know God has always been there whether I saw it or not}, was the love of my parents. The decline and end of their marriage in my last years of college rocked my world, but their love for me didn’t decline or end. On a weekly basis one or both of my parents tell me how much they love me, how special they think I am, or how proud of me they feel. I’m more thankful than ever that their love is constant. Up until I had children, I’m not sure much else was.

 

Last year work began on one of my favorite little sections of the W & OD, because of a road widening they would need to move the trail, which sounded fine, until I saw one of my favorite views at the end of the 3.5 mile climb from my house, destroyed.

Trail 1 Trail 2 Trail 3

I’ve watched for months as they built a tunnel underneath the road and worked to keep the mileage the same.

I’ve adjusted where I park on days I want to skip the 3.5 mile climb and start on a flatter section, due to this construction.

Today as I drove up towards that flatter section to my new parking spot, I saw them jack hammering what is now no longer the trail. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I nearly turned down the wrong side of the road. I have no idea why seeing them doing that hit me so hard, but it did.

This trail holds many very special memories and I felt like a piece of that was being taken away from me. New memories will be made in this little section, which in case you are wondering is only about .5 of a mile of the entire thing, but it was half a mile that I loved. Dramatic, yes? It’s how I feel though, and I won’t run from my emotions anymore.

Last Friday I ran 15 miles, up the twist, around the bend, over the bridge, down the bridge and back home. I didn’t know it would be the last time I would run over the bridge in that manner. I wish I had known because I would have said goodbye, thanks for the memories, I’ll be ready to make new ones soon, just give me time to adjust to the change.

But I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Gary either and it makes me sad and angry every single week. The part of the trail that is being torn up is the part I would drive past every single time I went to his house. The part that I would drive over and park at if I dropped my kids off at his house and then went for a run while Sue and He watched my kids for me.

I’m crying now. I don’t know if I’m upset about the trail or if it’s more about Gary. I’m mad that something I thought was a constant, something that would never change, has changed.

When my run was over and the bliss of the run had ended I drove and parked to walk over this little section and say goodbye. I took pictures of the tunnel I will now run through.

Trail 4 Trail 5 Trail 6 Trail 7

The mess of the jack hammer had been cleaned up, but I found a little piece of the trail sitting there and I took it. It’s mine now.

Trail 8

I know I’ll make new memories and in the end it’s just a trail.

The changes that come with life can’t steal my memories.

I’m allowing them to make me feel sad for a moment, to sit and dwell for a day, while I mourn the loss of a constant.
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