Yesterday morning, I volunteered to help with trail maintenance at Forest Park, my absolute favorite place to run here in Portland. I lent a hand for a variety of reasons, spanning from (have I mentioned that) I HAVE NO FULLTIME JOB, to wanting to give back to the park, to the fact that - for Hundred in The Hood - I have to put in 8 hours of trail work. I love this about ultra running. Many 100 mile races require at least a handful of hours helping to repair the trails we pound on day after day, mile upon mile.
The group was small and energetic, and, as I fell into a Zenlike state clipping, clipping, clipping, I realized I would walk away from that day with a sense of accomplishment I'd yet felt in, uh, years or so? Yeah, I suppose the day-in-day-out TV work was more a less a fantastic way to pay bills. Don't get me wrong: I met some of the most amazing people whom I consider my dearest friends and will for my entire life, and some of the experiences boggle my mind still, but that deep, down satisfaction of helping and healing yesterday really resonated. Particularly working on something so dear to my heart. Television isn't something I'd say I have ever held dear to my heart. Unless I wanted to hug an appliance and the fridge was busy.