Last week I had resolved to exercise every day. At the end of the workday on Thursday I knew I needed to get going but it just wasn’t happening. There were a million excuses in my mind. It’ll be boring, I’ve seen all of the places on the nearby trails and I had no patience for drivers on roads.
After over an hour of mental gymnastics I won my own mental argument by reminding myself that I always feel better after a ride than when I leave. But I still was grumpy and pretty sure it wouldn’t be a good time.
Down into the valley I went, ten minutes later I passed by a field and movement in the distance caught my eye. I stopped and there was a deer standing in the field. I got out my phone to take a photo. If I used my telephoto lens and a bit of digital zoom I might be able to catch it. But by the time I had it ready, the deer was gone.
I pedalled a little further ahead next to a grove of trees, stopped and looked way out in the field to see where he’d run off to. He was gone. But then I looked at the trees next to me:
A little glimpse of brown and white fur… And then out he came, walking right toward me. Eventually he was close enough for me to smell him, a grassy scent similar to a cow.
And then we just stood together for a while. He wasn’t 100% sure about me, having to look up every once in a while to make sure I was not going to eat him and then going back to his food. I even got a bit of video.
Eventually a loud group of cyclists went by on the trail and he leapt out into the field.
Fifteen minutes later as the sun set, I found myself further downriver near an old brickworks that has been turned into a park/nature centre with a few markets and small businesses. Every business was closed and most of the people were gone, so I was left alone by the water to appreciate all of the things I would’ve missed had I stayed home.