Either my wife hates having me around or she really, really loves me. I’d like to believe it’s the latter. It was only two weeks ago that I completed a tough 100 mile effort in Zion National Park. Now, barely recovered I was getting into a car with four other people (and two more who were in another car) and heading down to the San Rafael Swell to run the up-to 31 mile Good Water Rim trail at the Wedge, part of the Little Grand Canyon, a beautiful area about 25 miles south of Price, UT.
Either I hate spending time with my family or I really, really like running with amazing friends in the desert. I can say with certainty that it is the latter. When I started running I had about 2 friends that also liked moving speedily up mountains. Now I have more friends than I can count, quite literally. On any given day or weekend I am able to jump into a group run from 3 – 10 people or bigger. I have the privilege of running just about anywhere in the state on any given day and not run alone. Fingers might be pointed that my magnetic personality draws people to me. But I know better. The simple truth is that I am surrounded by the most incredible and accepting community of runners you’ll find anywhere in America. And I know this for a fact. So at 5:30am I found myself driving four other people (and two more in another car) into the desert.
A life is filled with a series of short moments. Even experiences that last days are looked back upon years later as flashes in time. It is up to us to determine how we live inside those moments and how we allow them to impact future moments. On a 40 degree day in the middle of the Central Utah desert I spent 4.5 hours running 22 miles with people that, if I couldn’t have said it before, can now assuredly state are some of my closest and cherished friends. Needless to say, I chose to spend that moment in bliss.
I will linger back, years from now, on simple memories from that day; sitting under a blanket eating a thawed burrito on the edge of a cliff, watching others do stupid human tricks, and the hugs – oh so many hugs. And there will be one or two additional memories that I won’t share, ones that are now special enough to me that I choose to keep them to myself. Those are my favorite moments, the ones that I choose not share with others. And they might be the most simple of all.
Running with the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers is always a good time. No run or day will disappoint. But there are other times when a special group of people get together and it becomes something more than just a day of running with friends. This was one of those days.