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Running and Looking for Shiny Things

My kids are old enough now to stay with me when I’m walking with them, but I still like to hold their hands sometimes. Through a parking lot, for example. Just to make sure they don’t drift away when they see something shiny.Eric C. Souza at Discovery Park

For the past couple of days, I’ve gone for runs with my wife. Emi is a great runner, and has been very encouraging with me as I’ve been establishing a more active lifestyle. I’ve let her take on the role of a trainer, and have followed her advice (for the most part … I had to stop on that last uphill).

But today, when she went to work and after I dropped off the kids, I was left to do a solo run. And I went looking for shiny things.

The first part of the run was the same. It’s a gradual uphill stretch from our home to the northern part of the Magnolia neighborhood peninsula. Magnolia Blvd. leads straight to Discovery Park, the largest city park in Seattle.

By the time I got there, I was winded (who am I kidding, I was bent over, gasping for oxygen like a fish thrown in a boat) and wanted to walk a little. So I entered Discovery Park for a walk, instead of turning and running home.

If you don’t know about Discovery Park, here are the basics. It’s gorgeous. Despite being in the city, it’s isolated and has been left as a 534-acre natural area. There’s a 2.8-mile trail that loops around the park. And then once on the trail, there’s a different trail that leads to the beach and the lighthouse.

It was a crisp autumn morning with temperatures in the mid-40s. I had a couple of hours before a noon event at the kids’ school, so I figured it would be a great opportunity to explore.


Each step I took on the way down the south beach trail, I had to remind myself that I would eventually have to come back up. It was not even a mile long, but it was all pretty steep.When the beach was in sight, I knew I had found it! My shiny thing! The waters of Puget Sound broke on the rock-and-sand beach, littered with driftwood. There were only a couple of people down there … a photographer with a macro lens trying to take photos of the “jumping spiders that live near the wood along the Sound” … and a far-off older couple walking near the lighthouse.

I was glad I had made it, but knew I didn’t have much time to relax there before having to get back home to shower and get to the school for Anya’s writing presentation.

Might I say, the expression “What goes up, must come down” also goes the other way. All of the steps that led to the beach had to be retraced. At the top of one particularly evil stretch of steps, a bench taunted me. But nope!

By the time I made it home, I was beat. But I had made it back in time to take care of my responsibilities. And I found my shiny thing.