Sunday, September 11, 2011

White Noise, In Absentia

I've been riding long enough that it doesn't take much to put me in The Zone: that blessed, peaceful place where thoughts and stressors fade, my inner monologue ceases to exist, and there is little left of me.  Instead, there is only a rider, reacting to and shaping the movements of a horse.   

It's wonderful.  And when I swing my right leg over, jump down, and my boots connect with dirt once again, I am a better person.

Running is a different story.  I am by no means an experienced runner, and The Zone is not only not achievable for me most days, I'm not even in the same zip code.  I run because it's good for my body, not my mind.

During my runs, my head sometimes feels sometimes scattered.  Like this one.

I'd like to just head out the door, and leave in peace and quiet, but first there is a confederacy of dunces in my way.

I shouldn't include Georgie in that description.  But these two?  They are the original confederacy. 

So no zone yet.  And the deer are starting to stare...  I don't know if you can see them here, but I can.  I can feel them looking at me.  They actually live in The Zone, and they're laughing at me.

And now I'm thinking about Junior.  These skid marks scarring our driveway are remnants of his maniacal, unescorted and unwise field trip around Cabbage Ranch.


See why I can't find The Zone?  I'm hemmed in by this crazy cast of animal characters, which lead me to the thoughts whirring through my head. 

I blame the dunces. 

It's their fault I can't stop thinking about their stories, and The Zone slips further away, pushed back by the tide within my head.

I have to take the lead dunce-ette with me on my run.  She's learning to be a pretty good running partner, and even better I'm pretty sure she'd- as Cabbage would say- light up anyone who got too close. Translation: Bite 'em.  Chew them up.

Hard to imagine, I know.

But I'm increasingly sure about that.  So as I ponder that, Annie and I get on our way, and hit our stride on a little two-mile run, I am waiting for the inner monologue to quiet.

But it's not to be.

Especially when I see these sprinklers going.  We're in the middle of an extreme drought, and this green grass serves no purpose except to landscape a far-off part of an entry into a subdivision.  Nobody lives near it, it's not even close to the entry sign. 

Really, people?  I hope it's at least giving some last resort nutrition to deer. 

The next few minutes have me still shaking my head over the wasteful sprinklers, until I pass these remnants.  It was, once upon a time, an armadillo.

To be more exact, it was a dead and very stinky armadillo.  I ran past it a few weeks ago and the stench almost made me gag.

So there was that.

Strangely enough, the stinky armadillo gives me enough mental fodder for another half mile. 

This sign?  I'm glad it's up.  But who doesn't know there's a county burn ban?  Probably the same guy who'd throw a cigarette butt out the window.   

Since the guy who would throw his cigarette butt out the window [at any time but especially] this summer probably lives in deep in them thar hills and wears a mullet and only brushes his (three) teeth during the full moon on even years is illiterate, I don't know how much impact this sign is actually capable of having. 

Getting near the end of my run.  Off in the distance lurks The Hill.

Not today, Hill.  But someday soon.  *shakes fist at sky*  Someday soon!

I'm wrapping up my short route, and I finish fine but with my head still going 100 miles per minute.

Walking back down our drive, I notice this tree.  It's so drought-stressed, I don't know how I missed that  before. 

H2O.  STAT. (note to self: ask Cabbage to use his mangled bird claw to help me water this tree)

Hi Georgie.  I'm not relaxed, but I really do feel better for having gone on my run.  I sure am glad to see you again.  And I'm sorry I lumped you in with the dunces.   

Hopefully she'll forgive me.  Even better, hopefully next time I'll get a little closer to The Zone.  If not, there's always a trip to the barn later.  I know The Zone waits for me there, about 7 feet off the ground, right in the middle of my saddle.

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