The Journey – 520.0 Miles, Meadview, Arizona:
Leg 0094 - Somewhere Near The Grand CanyonFor this leg of the A2B Journey, I ran through the desert on a road  with no name. (It felt good to be out of the rain . . . . )

According to Google Maps, there is a road there.  But the entire 13 mile stretch of road has no name, no number, and no recognizable designation.  And if Google says the road has no name, then the road has no name!

I suppose that is what you get for running in the desert!

The Run:
Since today is a holiday, I got to sleep in this morning! Plus I got to take my time stretching. Nice!

Having decided to do a long run, I started out at medium tempo.  To reinforce the slower pace, I played music from a slower playlist. (Thanks to Linkin Park for keeping me on pace when my body wanted to run at normal speed.)

After a mile or so, I moved up to target pace.  My body gladly made the transition.

Because of the lateness of the morning and the holiday, there were a lot of walkers, runners, and cyclists out.  I ran through a large park that was full of various groups, including one very interesting gathering of people.

For this run, I brought a bottle of water and some Sports Beans.  Every 3 miles, I ate a couple of the beans.  I took small drinks of water as needed.

The biggest challenge on this course is a very long hill about halfway through the run.  I found a couple of high energy songs to help me charge and endure the hill.  No matter how I feel during the climb, I always love how it feels to reach the top!!

With a mile left to go, I was feeling really good!  Deciding to take full advantage of the runner’s high, I turned my pace up a few notches.

As I turned on to my street, I wanted to finish strong.  So I envisioned family and loved ones at the “finish line” (my driveway).  With that, I happily finished my run!

The Mind
On weekends and holidays, it is not unusual to encounter various community groups gathered in the local parks where I run. Sometimes they have signs or banners announcing the their title and/or purpose.  Others are less formal.  Regardless, I am always interested to see what brings people together.

This morning there was one group that really stood out.  Just from outward appearances, it was one of the most unusual looking groups of people.  The clothing and style could best be described as the result of a grand shopping spree at Area 51 Mall.  (Although, they in no way appeared to be a sci-fi kind of crowd.)  There was no sign indicating the theme of this assembly.

This very large crowd had spilled out onto the path where I was running.  This meant that I would have to pass through part of their group.  I turned off my music and slowed my pace.  I was curious.  I wanted to lightly eavesdrop to try and catch a few clues as to their cause.  Instead I only heard snippets of normal conversations regarding shoe sales and the recent NFL playoffs.

There was, however, one mid-sentence phrase that captured my attention.  I heard one older man say, “ . . . . and from there, you’re just caught in the circle of aaaaaaaaagh (spoken with throaty agony)!!!”

For the next few seconds, I wondered what could have possibly preceded his comment.  What precedes the now infamous circle of aaaaaaaaagh?!

Though I had never heard this phrase before, it sounded uncomfortably familiar.  As I thought about it more, I realized that I am indeed acquainted with this particular ring!  At times in my life, I have found myself in that seemingly infinite loop of undesirability.  Thankfully, each time, I have been able to interrupt the pattern enough to escape.

I began to question what type of mind or culture it was that derived the concept of the circle of aaaaaaaaagh! (Saying it out loud reminds me of Monty Python.)  And, I wondered if they have ever acknowledged its distant cousin, the much more fun and adventurous circle of aaaaaaaaagh (spoken with ecstatic enthusiasm)!!!

I thought about what one might find in the fun circle.  I imagine it to be full of the things that you desire most!

As I continued running, I wondered if there was a formula to avoid one and find the other.  Given the choice, I would much prefer of the fun and exciting one over the other.

I then realized that the last sentence above answers the question.  “Given the choice” is the key, because every choice determines your direction and therefore your destination.

Any thoughts, ideas, convictions, etc. about the circle of aaaaaaaaagh?!!!   Please share at:
Or in the comments section below.