That Road

The year year was 1990.  A magical year in the life of Jenni Adkins.  It was my senior year of high school.  I have so many fond memories of that year and all that it entailed.  My family was still intact.  We lived in a beautiful blue house on the Kendall Court cul-de-sac hill.  My room was decked out in Laura Ashley flowers, white walls and cotton candy pink shiny painted trim.  I had several boyfriends....from the cute boy with surfer blond hair to the ruggedly handsome Edward with curly black hair.  A straight A student with a best friend named Amy.  My car...a hot red Jeep CJ-7 with black soft top.  College bound to Randolph-Macon Women's College....life was good.  I had it all..for an 18 year old wide eyed young woman.

On graduation night I gave a speech as Senior Class President using this poem as my guiding light:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

You know it well I'm sure.  I bet Robert Frost never imagined his words would affect so many lives.  Especially those transitioning from high school to college or college to adulthood.   That night with stars in my eyes and a full-life ahead of me I couldn't have even dreamed that my life would lead me here.  To this place.  To this life.
As I was running my 17 mile training run Saturday I passed this wooden path into the woods off the golf cart path.  And yes, I took it.  Because that's what I do.  I jump at opportunities to go the road less traveled.  Like training for a marathon.  My husband thinks I'm crazy. 

Last Tuesday-Saturday I ran a total of 31 miles.  2 miles short of what I was supposed to train.  I ran for a total of 5 hours and 30 minutes.  That's a lot of time spent in quiet reflection.  Honestly the time flies.  I listen to music, day dream, let time go by without thought.  It's the only time in my day where someone isn't saying "I'm finished.  Now what do I do?  I need help. Mrs. Horne...Mrs. Horne... Mom, where's my this...Mom what's for dinner?"  You get the big picture right?  The other day someone asked me if I was a real runner.  I said yeah...well, what do you mean really?  He said, a true runner runs without looking at his watch or worrying about the distance.  Funny, although miles are important to me right now in training, I do just run.  In fact most night runs I get to the end and am like, "Oh, I'm done."  Cool.  And then I practice my shadow puppets in the street lights. I wonder if the neighbors ever notice me out there.  Sure to be a sight. 

23 years after giving that speech I am here.  On this road.  Using the body God gave me to run faster and longer than I ever imagined.  Wearing down the grass.  But never my soul.  I'm glad this is the road I've chosen.

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