My difficulty in getting my tired body out of bed for a run is mental. I’m in the midst of recovering from a significant back injury and truthfully, movement is still painful. Routine helps me not “think about it” and tricks my brain out of the negative self talk. Today was one of those days.
It’s warmer now in Sacramento so the prime running days are shortened and restricted to either very early morning or early evening. After about two miles of pulling a reluctant dog I headed back toward my house.
Just south (river flow south) of Garcia Bend I passed two beautiful young women chatting as they walked. A little further down I see someone struggling to carry a cooler, poles and two huge fish. She placed everything gently on the ground, readjusted and took up her task at getting to her vehicle. I ran faster yelling to her, “ Look at you!! Wow! Those are beauts!” She smiled. “Can I take your picture and put it in my IG? There’s a #brownfolksfishing page that would love to see you. She agreed and went about her departure.
As she passed the other two women they similarly greeted her and acknowledged her “Awesomeness.” I smiled and ran on my way, thinking about what made me stop and poke my nose into a stranger’s life? What made the two other women do the same?
I think perhaps it is the fact that our fisher woman looked so “different” in that setting, yet so familiar. I’m used to seeing men fishing along the bank sometimes with their wives but I don’t know if I’ve seen many women out there, much less alone. She looked like someone I want to be like. She looked like a fishing badass and woman of strength and determination. The fact that she was struggling as she walked, but readjusted and walked on provided the evidence.
I also thought that this is what the outdoors should look like; diverse, inclusive, comfortable and accessible. It’s women like her that will motivate, inspire and yes, give permission for women like me to explore our world outside and partake in any activity we choose. I only wish I had asked her name and told her how she affects those that watch her from afar. But then she may already know that and is just being her best self. Either way, I thank her.