Taking the Wrong Trail

Taking the Wrong Trail

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I…”

I took the wrong one and got lost!

Thank God for the AllTrails app. Keep in mind, this is only my second week training as a future ultra runner. Today I had to run 4 miles and I decided to take a trail I had never been on before (Laurel Run at Laurel Run Park in Kingsport, TN). I looked it up on AllTrails and it was exactly 4 miles out and back. Perfect. First, I got lost driving to the trail. So, I was already a bit flustered when I finally made it to the trailhead. I found the beginning of the trail without incident. I started running. The trail began with a steep hill. This was not pleasant. Once I was over the hill I felt better and kept running. As I’m running along, I see different colored blazes all over the place. I admit, I have a very bad sense of direction. So, I look at the map. To my surprise, I’m going the right way! I continue running. I pass a pretty little waterfall. I come to a fork in the trail. I turn left. A little way farther on the trail, I begin to question my decision. Out comes the cell phone and I look at the map. Yup! I went the wrong way. So, I turn around and go back. I get to the fork and go right. After a while, I look at the map again and yay! the little dot representing me is going the right way!

Now, while all of this is happening, I’m running on a trail that is rocky and steep in places. It wasn’t easy, especially since this 4 mile run is long to me and I’m not the kind of person who will give up. Finally, I made it to the turn around point. Up until that point, I was really hating on this trail. The moment I turn around and start running back, I’m thinking, ‘wow! I love this trail! I think I’ll do it again tomorrow’. I don’t know about anyone else, but the turn around point always makes me giddy and it feels like I’m pretty much done. Even though the way back wasn’t all down hill, it felt like it.

Taking the wrong trail can be scary when you realize it and suddenly feel like you’re lost. However, when you get back on the right trail, you feel a sense of accomplishment and have new energy to go on. I’ve experienced this before. Like I said, my sense of direction is lacking. I haven’t always gone back and tried to find the right trail. Even though I hate to give up, I’ve turned around and gone back. However, I’ll never know what I missed. I could have come across a waterfall or a great view. Today I didn’t give up and while the turn around point wasn’t exactly esthetically pleasing, I was able to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. As Thoreau observed, “…that has made all the difference”.

Waterfall along the Laurel Run Trail

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