by Emmy Morley
Lately, I’ve taken control of my personal wellness, and the Los Gatos Creek Trail is now my favorite spot to go for an evening run. Now, aside from the fact that going on runs through the woods awakens a deep fear of being kidnapped and murdered, it’s actually quite enjoyable. There are quite a few people on the trail during the late afternoon, and there are numerous folks who really smoke my bacon.
Last Thursday, I was absolutely ZOOMING on the trail while listening to Miley Cyrus’ The Climb, when I caught up to a family walking ahead of me on the path. In hindsight, it wasn’t so much the size of a family as it was the size of a K-pop band. So there I was, now slowing down to a crisp jog, and not a single one of these fools could hear my aggressive footsteps behind them. See, that was when we came to a bit of a problem, because I could either make myself known and get on with my run or awkwardly shuffle behind them. I chose the latter. And now I’m insecure. Can they hear me and are just ignoring me? Do they not approve of my bright purple leggings? Or worse, do they not approve of my Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift running playlist? Finally the anxiety had become too much, and I managed to say “excuse me.” They let me pass and I’ve never run faster, trying to get away from these folks.
It was not five minutes before I ran (pun intended) into my next problem. The student athlete. The student athlete is always a mildly attractive male whom I vaguely recognize from school. He’s not Adonis, but he’s the type of guy you wouldn’t quite want to fall on your face in front of either. Whenever he comes around, I try to make it look like I’m the main character, getting in shape and taking control of my life. In reality, it’s just me sweating, breathing like a French bulldog and squinting through my flyaways. Mr. Student Athlete zooms around me and I do the “trail greeting” (which is just saying “how ya doing” with a little wave and a nod). Once I watch him turn a corner I immediately slow my pace because I can finally stop showing off for him.
To be honest, if I’m choosing to be in the woods voluntarily, I don’t know what else I should expect. As much as I enjoy poking fun at my fellow trail dwellers, in the end, we’re all just bored granola hikers looking for a little spice.