Friday, July 30, 2010

Lost in My Illusions

Speaking of illusions...

Since moving back to Alaska I have enjoyed revisiting trails and paths that I haven't run for ages. In our current housesitting tour-of-the-city I have had the option of running all over town, creating new loops and revisiting various places. While my memory has held strong in remembering the ways the webs of trails and paths connect all over the city, I have totally lost touch with how far it is from one area to the next.

While this reality has lingered in the back of my mind on several occasions this summer, it was at no point as crucial as when during today's run I rounded a corner on a trail and realized that while I had a meeting in an hour, I was at least twenty minutes from the house. The loop I had estimated to be five miles (plenty of time to run before meeting with future principal) was proving to be a lot closer to eight (cutting things way too close).


The hour between realization of estimation error and said meeting was a bit of a blur, and in the end I made it to the meeting with zero minutes to spare. This experience left me with no question that while I can weave my way all over town, I am pretty clueless in how long it may take to actually get there.


My husband was born in the-middle-of-nowhere Alaska, and moved away from this village when he was four. When he finally went back to visit this small town at the ripe age of 12, he was very disappointed. As optimistic as teenagers can be, the town was a small fraction of the beautiful place of his childhood dreams. Instead he now saw it for what it was, a place with little vegetation and above ground sewage, thanks to the harsh climate.

I wonder if I should think of my frequent running miscalculations in a similar way.
Maybe runs felt shorter when I was in high school.
Maybe I was just faster.
Maybe I had fewer time constraints and paid less attention to my watch.

Whatever the reason, moving back to a place after being away for a while inevitably leaves one vulnerable to crushed illusions...mistaken ideas that completely fall apart under the weight of reality.

The way I figure it, if the worst illusion I had of moving back is how long it takes to run from point A to point B, we're doing pretty know, as long as I don't miss any important meetings.


  1. I was about to ask if you want to go hiking with me sometime soon, but after reading this (8 miles?!?) I'm afraid you may far surpass me when it comes to athletic prowess, and that just might be embarrassing! :)

  2. WOW! You go girl! I'm quite an amateur when it comes to hiking but absolutely love it. I can only imagine the trails in Alaska.
    Could never really run (due to exercise asthma) but my husband JUST recently taught me how to breathe properly during physical activity. Something I could have used and was never really taught. So maybe one day I'll be able to run.
    You're an inspiration to me girlie!