Skip to main content

From "Therapy On the Run"
Chapter Twenty-Six
Orange, Blue and Yellow Hue

…I take off my vest, my hat, headlamp, camelbak gloves and jacket.  It is now after seven in the morning the sun has risen, and initially, a seemingly cloudless sky has appeared. 
    I put my gloves and headlamp into my camelbak’s front pocket.  I retrieve my sunglasses, putting them on.  I readjust putting on my camelbak and tighten the straps.   I then pull my reflective vest back over my head and over the camelbak.  I place the baseball cap back on my head, and put my sunglasses on top of the cap.
    I take my jacket and intertwined the sleeves knotting them into the straps of the camelbak.  I step out of the shop.  I pause.  I look around.  I feel the coolness of the air on my now sleeveless arms.  I feel freer.  Drinking, I put down twenty ounces of water.  I turn my watch back on as I begin to run north toward Warwick Turnpike.  I begin heading in the direction of the Wawayanda State Park.  I soon will approach the unknown part of the course I’ve mapped out, yet never ran on.
    As I run along Union Valley Road, the sky remains cloudless.  The moon is still high in the sky as well.  I pass various shops, residential areas and after climbing uphill a bit, a farm with a miniature golf course attached. 
    I run till I get to a fork in the road.  Then I bear left going, climbing up, up, up.  The road meanders winding its way to a stop sign.  Then I take a left onto Warwick Turnpike.  I go uphill a bit more. I know it won’t be long before I see the signs for Wawayanda State Park. 
    The road ebbs and flows between seemingly residential and desolate farm and forest land.  This area appears differently on foot than it did in my car two days before.  It’s quieter.  It appears as more of a fun spot, such as a vacation area for those who boat and fish.  I read the signs of all the shops and eateries I see along the roadside.
    There are signs of roadways for docking and undocking boats, signs for Marinas, Antique Stores and the like.  I daydream of the charity event I’m doing this practice run for.  I picture who might be crewing for me at this point.  I know whoever does, will be fulfilled by the beauty of this future experience. 
    When people who aren’t running, yet they crew by leap-frogging a half to a mile ahead of the runner on the opposite side of the road the runner is running on; they drive at a much slower than average driving pace. So the people crewing get to see more than if they were driving at regular speeds and passing through the areas I’m now running through.  It has been said that “CREW” is Constant Running Endless Waiting.
    As I am picking them up and putting them down, my feet that is, I run by a little cafĂ© that seems as if to belong in Tuxedo, New York.  Tuxedo, New York from my experience via car and via foot appears to me a quaint throw-back to an upscale township in the UK, perhaps as pictured in a novel
    I run through spread out residential areas going through road construction.  Soon enough, I see signs for Wawayanda.  The state park arrives sooner that I could imagine.  It is close to eight o’clock.  I turn left into the east gate of the park.  As I avoid the New York State line by only a few hundred meters or so.  I’m keeping this charity running event all in the state of New Jersey, since it is going to be called, ‘The Out ‘N Back of New Jersey’.
    ‘No mountain lions now.  My mind claims.  An SUV with kayaks on top of it, pulls in after me through the open gate.  With the exception of the macadam I run on, everything in front of me is just green, green, green, and blue.  Everything is rich in color.  The moon still is present, even though the sun’s power is felt on my back through the camelbak.  
     I wind my way through the peaceful state park.  In about two to three miles, I see about six people, and no one else.  I then run by a lake and beach front area.  Soon I come onto gravel and dirt to the west gate entrance.  I notice a cyclist prepping her bike.  These gates are still locked.  I scoot through an opening on the side where a stone frame is cemented down as part of the gate entrance. 
    Finally, I come upon Wawayanda Drive.  Seemingly miles later, I come to the bottom of the huge mountainous road.  I’m now low on fluid, and I need something to eat.  Before taking the next turn, there to my left before I take Breakneck Road, is a food mart.  I go in...
    A woman is behind the counter.  I make a b-line to the fridge filled with cold sport drinks and water.  I grab a Mineral Water flavored Strawberry-Kiwi, and a water.  She watches me with a careful eye, as if not to trust me.  I could feel her anxiety.  I gather by now, that I instinctively look like I’m from Mars.
    I see a cake donut for sale, I purchase as well.  I have been running for over six hours at this point.  It’s just past eight in the morning now.  I make small talk, I pay her and step outside and suck down half the Mineral Water flavored Strawberry-Kiwi, and a little of the water before placing it in my hand-held water bottle.
    I eighty-six the rest of the Mineral Water flavored Strawberry-Kiwi, that I cannot on drink any more of it, I fear I’m about to toss anything I have left in my stomach back up.  I drank the cold beverage way too fast.  I then woof down the cake donut in hopes it stops the queasy feeling I’m having.  Soon the queasiness stops. I want to carry as little weight as possible in my hands.  The sun is getting stronger.
    I finish fixing my gear and look out to the road crossing just yards in front of me.  I think, ‘Breakneck Road, Well nice name for a road.  Am I supposed to die on this road?  Creepy name.’  I look down at my watch one more time before heading off.  I’ve been running for over six hours and have accumulated total time of six hours and forty minutes.
    It’s now just past eight in the morning.  The sky remains a cloudless, deep blue color, and appears endless.  Such like a never ending drink of blue water.  I felt the breezes caressing me as I wound my way through the night, and now into the morning air.
    There are those days when you are running, where you can’t drink in enough of the good life the air holds.  This is one of those runs.  A run of that nature, makes me spread my arms out as if I were an eagle.  I spread my arms out here and there just to feel the entirety of the air.  I just can’t get enough.  I close my eyes for seconds on end, trying to suck in as much goodness so all of me is filled up for the rest of my life.
    As I run, I attempt to drink up the goodness of the air into my soul.  It is so delicious, it is truly orgasmic.  It is beyond any feeling of endless wonderful joy I have ever experienced alone in my life.
    Those are the days that are so drinkable, that they outweigh every experience I’ve ever had in my life, with few exceptions.  One, becoming a parent.  Two, serving others.  And three, the joy from knowing you are loved divinely.  I call that, “God Love”.  Now you can’t beat that.  I think to myself. 
    I’ve taken a right onto Breakneck Road and I’m running uphill again, as such thoughts ebb and flow. 


Popular posts from this blog

2023 Holiday Letter from the Reicher's

Well, I didn't think I'd be doing a Holiday Letter this year, but here goes... The Spirit of Norm is in the air. As the wind whips with minus a true snowstorm.  In hopes the Farmers Almanac was correct, I pray to the snow gods. Rain ensued the month of December thus far. We have nearly tripled the amount of rainfall usual for December in New Jersey. And I've witnessed its treachery. Storms such as these hit us hardest in July. Then remained fairly intense through til about early October.  Our daughters are doing well, Thank God.  Their Dad would be proud of them. Our oldest Sarah, now a Junior at UCLA pursuing her degree in Chemical Engineering. She's digging the whole California scene. Which I thought it was for her. She's had some good traveling on her off times from school. For her March 2023 week off, she drove her and a few friends out to Lake Tahoe and went downhill skiing for a first in nearly 5 years. She had to rent the ski equipment.  Funny enough when

Sledging the Hammer

  "You could have a steam trainIf you'd just lay down your tracks..."---Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' lyrics. This is not the tune that lay in my mind this morning as I reminisced about yesterday's volunteers to help on trail crew.    However, as I looked up the proper definition of sledging that song popped up. I say sledging, which is my own take on swinging a hammer that we call a "Double Jack". The Single Jack is six pounds. I know that because our regular crew of five including me and one staff supervisor are handling Harriman State Park Trails, and have to carry about four of those, two shaping hammers, along with a hoist, belay bag with heavy equipment, first aid kit, double Jack, three 18lb rock bars, a lopper, three buckets, three eye to eyes, two burlap straps, two green wrapping straps, two pick Mattox, a roe hoe or two, a bar for either the two ton or one ton hoist, the feathers with pegs for splitting rocks that we drill... s

It Follows Me...

One may wonder what would inspire someone to work hard labor voluntarily. For me it’s the love of many things. It’s the passion that won’t be broken. Because there are so many aspects to such service for me, that it may seem beyond comprehension. I’d compare it to my youthful desire to enter the military as a young child. Then for a multitude of reasons only to follow through thirteen years later at age eighteen entering the Marines. There were things that followed me throughout my life. Sometimes they were questions of how I ever gave up my over decade’s life dream to become a New Jersey State Trooper. My childhood desire to never wed—to never have any serious relationships with another human being. I desired only service in military and law enforcement nearly my whole childhood. Too the extent that even one of my Marine Corps superiors expressed to me last July, “I never thought you’d ever get married. It just wasn’t who you were. You were always a loner.” I replied, “Yeah. I know.