Tuesday, August 10, 2010


There used to be a waiter at a restaurant here in Roanoke that would always respond to your order, by saying "Awesome."

Did he really think me ordering a Millet Burger was awesome? Did my order or the way I expressed it, inspire awe in this perky guy? I doubt it but the word is used in lieu of many other expressions these days, like Great, or Outstanding. I however, will attempt to use it in this blog, as it was originally intended.

I went for an awesome run on Sunday. No, my performance did not inspire awe, nor my ability. It was where the run took place that was awesome.

3300 feet above sea level, on a gravel road, atop a mountain due west of my home, Potts Mountain. The temperature on Potts Mountain is usually 10-15 degrees cooler than the temp. down here in the valley. So please, if you will, imagine a cool 73 degree morning, bright blue sky, isolated gravel road, with the most beautiful lush green trees, wildflowers and rock formations on either side. Imagine with me, the quiet that exists in such a place with no cars, no airplanes, no sounds but for my feet hitting the gravel in rhythm, and the occasional buzz of a bee flying by my head in curiosity.

My running companion was a lovely purple butterfly. It flew beside me, in front of me, occasionally landing on the grey gravel a few yards ahead. Perhaps my bright red running shirt and pink shorts were as shocking to him, as his bright purple wings were to me. Either way, we ran/flew together for 40 minutes, quietly watching one another moving forward with purpose.

His home, apparently, is one where black eyed susans, daisies and Queen Ann's lace grows naturally at the road's edge. Mine is typically one where cigarette butts and trash are found in the same location. His is one where the day is defined by the location of the sun, and mine where the day is often defined by an alarm, or calender warning sent by email.

It was an awesome run because I finished encouraged, excited, oddly rejuvenated. So hopefully before this whole triathlon is done in 1 month (from tomorrow) I will get to go back and run with my new friend. And thanks to a great website on Virginia butterflies, I now know his name: Limenitis arthemis astyanax. I will call him AL for short.

1 comment:

  1. Incredible- so glad that you found out the name of your friend.