More than just physical benefits running also has many mental benefits, as we who run know very well. It's a great feeling when you get in the zone and forget about all the troubles in the world. There are many other forms of mediation. Tai chi and prayer come to mind. It is said that the belief in a supreme being and devotion to a higher power is very beneficial for the soul.
On yesterday's pre-dawn run, as I ran along the paved trail in Leon Creek I saw an image up ahead. I could not make it out. What is it? As I got closer I noticed it was a tall slender man dressed in a long robe, bald except for a pony tail and in sandals. When I was running past him I heard chanting and honestly was frightened. I ran faster trying to distance myself from this person then thought, Why? This guy is praying. He's in meditation. He's not going to chase me. He may not pray in the way I am accustomed to but then he doesn't have to. We are free to pray to the supreme being as we please whatever we call him and in what ever way we wish. We are sometimes afraid of what we don't understand. Still, it was a bit strange to me.
Another unusual sight was the weird squirrel I saw in Leon Creek today. I've chased and teased squirrels all my life and I have never seen a squirrel like this one. This guy was small too! As I descended into the lower creek bed there's this little squirrel with his back to me and I guess I scared him. He jumped up and did a 180 in the air! When he landed he ran off the trail and on to a bush then jumped sideways onto another bush then another, timing the swing of the small branch just right! I've seen squirrels take a running start UP a tree and on to the next and down a tree onto the ground or a lower branch but this is the first time I've seen a squirrel jump sideways. This was one athletic squirrel!