Things I Miss…My Australian Running Trails

IMG_0389Last Wednesday I started sharing things that I missed from Australia beginning with a decent cappuccino and conversations, the second is a four-mile stretch where most of my marathon training took place.  One reason it’s so important to me is the entire run took place on sidewalks or a trail making it a lot safer than my current route that is along a busy road, but the real reason I miss the old training route is memories would flood my mind every time I ran it.

 

Like the small trail you could find at the one-mile mark that will forever be known as the “Dog Trail” and my dog Yoda’s idea of Heaven on earth.

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Yoda’s last walk along the Dog Trail

The Dog Trail’s dead end which marked the halfway point of my run before Marathon training and how much I looked forward to it.

The spot on the trail where a small dog came after me; thankfully he was just interested in a race so my patented “curl up into the fetal position and scream like a little girl” defense mechanism wasn’t needed.

The place where the kids rode their skateboards and one of them called me “sick” because I ran six miles, which is a compliment…I think.

The spot past the dog trail where a Church member would see me on my morning run and honk his horn while driving to work but I wouldn’t respond, too busy listening to Taylor Swift on my headphones

A spot roughly twenty yards farther where a family with kids will yell my name, wave their arms, and jump up and down to get my attention, but no luck

The footy oval where one day I took part in the most embarrassing game of ultimate Frisbee known to man.

Running by the large sign that said you were entering the Highlands housing development and praying about a nearby townhouse I wanted to move into upon returning to Australia.

A large hill that I lovingly refer to as “the slow death”

The shopping center at the top of a large hill where I bought celebratory doughnuts and hard jubes (if you don’t know what those are, just believe me they are awesome)

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A downhill portion of my run that I look forward to while climbing the hill but ironically becomes the hardest part on the way back..

The place where I tripped over something and did a face plant on the sidewalk resulting in a bruise on my face making me look like I was in a bar fight…also the place where I neglected the pain in my body and immediately checked to make sure my phone was okay

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The greatest fish and chip shop in the entire world…seriously

A local library, which makes the best cappuccino in all of Melbourne

The spot where a teenage girl started screaming “run” at the top of her lungs as I went by and scared me half to death

Pass the woman who rides her bike while a dog (with no leash) runs obediently beside her, something my dog will never do

This isn’t to say there are memories with my current running spot (like the day a deer jumped in front of me) but when a person runs the same route five days a week for four months you sort of get used to it.  In a sense it isn’t the running that I miss (definitely not the pain involved in it) but the memories that they hold; and it’s those memories that call me to back to my true home.

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John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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