Friday’s smiles compliments of ignorance…

I smiled a lot Friday. But it wasn’t because I had planned or strategized well. In fact, it was because I had kinda just followed my gut and went with it. If I am being truly honest, I would say my smiles were compliments of ignorance. Please know I believe in preparation and doing one’s research, but sometimes embracing ignorance creates the best adventures.

Now it wasn’t some big thing; just a simple run – or so I thought. I flew to Colorado for a consult with a church south of Denver. (When you live in Scranton, you should always say yes to gigs west of the Mississippi.)

The consult day was splendid, and I finished my time at the church feeling positive. I was chilling at the hotel prior to heading to the airport, and decided to sneak a run in. Not because I wanted to, but because it’s the “right” thing to do. I was feeling upbeat, and thought it would be a great way to finish the time in Denver. So I threw on running clothes, stretched, and jumped onto a running path. Within the first 400 yards, I realized I was wholly unprepared for the experience.

I was in pain. You know, the kind of pain that says, “You’re not going to make it to the first mile marker.” The hills weren’t huge, but at an elevation of 6,000 feet, they pummeled this flatlander. Temperatures about 25 degrees lower than I was expecting and a near icy rain added to the displeasure.

But I found myself smiling… a lot. There was this odd pleasure pouring over me as I walked the cool down stretch back to the hotel. What occurred to me was that I had gone out for a simple run and had been given the gift of a little adventure… which I love! I stopped to take a picture of an old wooden bridge over a “gulch” carved by fast moving water which I find to be artistic and beautiful (I love the word gulch, by the way).; I got lapped by a guy way older than me which made me smile laugh. I counted at least a hundred prairie dog mounds which reminded me of playful and mischievous spirits. My cold, wet, blotchy skin transported me back to formative wilderness canoe trips in Algonquin Provincial Park with mentors and friends.

My cold run with burning lungs transformed into an experience marked by beauty, humor, mischief, and friendships. Yea, I smiled a lot.

Afterward, as my body warmed back up and I enjoyed a bottle of sweet tea, I realized that if I had done my research and prepared well I would have declined to run today. Thunderstorms, hail, hills, and mile high elevations are not a great recipe for satisfying exercise. So here’s to ignorance, gut feelings, and rolling with it.

As you roll into this next week, prioritize and plan well because that’s crucial, but also be brave enough to embrace a lil’ ignorant mischief so you can be surprised by some amazing experiences.

Oh yeah, and the day prior I explored The Garden of The Gods because I failed to realize that University of the Rockies had relocated the school of organizational leadership from Colorado Springs to Denver. Ha! Yeah, I drove all the way to Colorado Springs and into The Garden of the Gods! I love how ignorance and a spirit of adventure are so intertwined.

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