I’ve told you about my Adirondack hike up Mt. Haystack to celebrate my son Joel’s fortieth. On the first day we had to hike with our packs about 6 ½ miles from the trailhead in Keene Valley to our base camp. What I didn’t tell you is that as I was plodding along trying to keep pace with my sons and negotiating the weight of my pack stepping from stone to stone, we were interrupted a couple of times by groups of trail runners.
These hikers don’t plod. They run. Like a herd of cross-country runners, they come flying by, only these guys aren’t running on a manicured golf course. Their course is mud, rock, timber, and steep uphill climbs. Here’s how this new fad was described in an advertisement for a Lake Placid Trail Run.
“Trail running is much different than road running and this should be expected. You will get dirty, you will get wet, you will trip, you will fall, get bruised up, scratched up and damaged – but that is all part of trail running. Lake Placid’s running trails can be tough and very demanding on the joints, lower back, and heart rate. While you can expect to keep up a faster pace on the road, running trails in the Adirondacks are a bit slower in distance but faster in thought. You will need to make split second decisions based on terrain, and some of the uphill running is very demanding. You won’t be able to see what’s around the corner until you’re right upon it, but that’s part of what makes trail running in the Adirondacks so exciting!”
In his sixth father-son lecture in Proverbs the wise father tells his son that there are times in life when you need to walk slow, but there will be other times when you need to move fast. He stresses that walking or running, if his son holds on to his dad’s teaching as if his life depends upon it, he won’t fall. For, in fact, what his father is teaching his son is a matter of eternal life or death.
“Listen, my son! Take in my words. If you do you will multiply the days of your life. I instruct you in the trail of wisdom. I’m enabling you to walk on the straight path. When you walk, your steps will not be cramped. When you run, you will not stumble. Seize my discipline! Don’t let her (Lady Wisdom) go! Guard her for she is your very life.” - Proverbs 4:10-13
LORD, I know it’s too late to take up trail running in the mountains, but there are times when I still need to move fast in life. Sometimes decisions must be made, and there’s no time for delay. Whether life is slow this week or fast, keep Mary and I centered on your straight and narrow way. We need You to keep us from stumbling.
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