Maybe I can.

I surprised myself yesterday. 

Don’t you love when that happens? You have some preconceived idea of what you’re capable of, reach that level, and then blast right into awesomeness. Nothing feels better than learning you are better than you thought you were!

Ok, I didn’t “blast into awesomeness” yesterday. But I did go running. For the first time in years.

Considering the number of doctors’ visits and tests that have filled my last 10 days, choosing to take Cholula out for a walk was a big step in itself. Perhaps I was feeling energetic. Perhaps I realized I’ll be in a honeymoon bikini in  two weeks. WHATEVER. It was a lovely fall evening, so off we went.

There’s a dirt road at the end of my street that follows a creek through some ranches and eventually ends up closer to Salt Lake City. It’s popular for runners or dog-walkers (a swim at the end of a run? WOOF!). I really had no goal or timeframe in mind- just wanted to MOVE in the crisp autumn air. We were greeted by some cows almost immediately. Hmmm. 


I’m happy to report that Cholula did NOT incite a stampede. She didn’t even bark! Instead, she kept a close eye on these large beasts and trotted by my side until we were past. Such a good girl.

The walk was pleasant. The sun was starting to set behind the hill, so parts of the road were shady and cool. It made reaching the sunny spots feel wonderful. We spied- and terrified- two mallard duck couples. (Cholula has a history with ducks.)


We passed one person, finishing up a run, who had a happy black Lab at her heels. But that was it. The road was ours. The only sounds were cows moo-ing in the distance and the trickle of the stream. Cholula sniffed everything in sight. She chased a few birds and wagged a lot. I soaked in the warm sunshine as we strolled past a ranch, enjoying the peacefulness. Kind of perfect. 


After awhile, I decided to turn around. The sun would bid us adieu before too long, and it was nearing dinnertime. But I felt great. Maybe it was because there was no one around to judge how far I could go. Maybe it was the fresh air I’d been missing for the past week. I’m not sure what got into me, but at one point, I started jogging.

I used to LOVE long-distance running. I’ve got a long stride and would get into a rhythm and keep going. That was a long time ago. I remember asking a super-active friend about the best way to get back into running. The answer was, “Just run.” I had that in my mind as I jogged. I set my sights on a “No Trespassing” sign. I’ll just run until I get there, I told myself. I reached the sign- and kept going. 

Now, I didn’t run far. And I took breaks here and there to catch my breath. This was no Chariots of Fire moment. But I did run most of the way back, and it was much more than I’d thought I could do. That motivated me to keep going- and it felt awesome! Cholula, it turns out, is a great partner for running. I resolved to take her on a walk/run again soon.

The afternoon light was gorgeous on the way back.


The jogging part of the afternoon ended when we reached the herd of cows. I steered a curious (and somehow braver) Cholula through them and we made our way home.


Home again, I sipped water on the deck and marveled at the sunlight on the trees. I felt great. Which was pretty amazing after feeling not great for too long. Maybe I did blast into awesomeness after all.


I think I’ll put on my running shoes and visit the cows this afternoon. Maybe I’ll surprise myself again. 

Happy Monday!


  1. I love this post. The scenery is beautiful and the story just perfect… there’s nothing better than a run of any kind. Long or short. Fast or slow. Just being able to move your body and feel it go is such an incredible blessing.

  2. What a beautiful place you live in! Also, I’m going to start using that term when I start new projects…”I’m going to lead this project and I’m going to blast into awesomeness!” 🙂

  3. Love this, Amber! Beautiful pics to document the run. Cholula is such a good girl not disturbing that herd. Bodie and Kiva would’ve gone nuts and chased ’em all the way back to the ranch–or gotten stampeded!

    1. I was apprehensive the second I saw the herd in the road… but she’s been really good near the elk in the backyard. She seems to have an appropriate amount of respect for large beasts. Or, maybe she was just scared. 🙂

  4. Good for you (and Cholula for not chasing the cows!) I admire this for many reasons, including the fact that I’m not a runner. Walking with hand weights is more my style. I think it’s great that you’re approaching this with the “I surprised myself/maybe I’ll surprise myself again” approach. Too many people try to start a healthy habit, keep it up for a few days and then beat themselves up if they miss one run or don’t go as far as they want, etc. It’s much better to keep an optimistic plan, rather than a militant, self-criticizing one 🙂

  5. Congrats on your run! There’s nothing like a beautiful day, a country road lined with the leaves of Fall, and a happy pup to motivate you. I just came back from a run myself, except my Mattie-Lu probably doesn’t run quite as well as your Cholula!

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