Running clears mind, body, soul, wild turkey thruway

Because the recent July weather has been so hot and humid, we have been going out for our runs early in the morning while the feel of the air is still tolerable.

Running in warm, sticky conditions is certainly not my favorite way to exercise, but I grudgingly agree with my wife’s argument that if we are going to run at all, early morning is the time of day that makes the most sense. You know, logic and reason can be so annoying sometimes.

Becky has no problem running so early in the a.m. As a matter of fact, she prefers it. She is a textbook example of a “morning person.” She is up and at ‘em and on her game early in the day and only starts to fade about the same time the sunlight is doing the same.

I used to consider myself a “night person.” (Yes, I realize that could be a pun.) These days I can no longer make it to the late night talk shows, and I operate best quietly easing into the morning with coffee, so I guess I would describe myself as more of a “few-hour-in-the middle-of-the-day person.”

However, I know the importance of exercise as well as the value of the mutual motivation that comes from running with my wife, so on these hot July mornings we lace up our running shoes and head out on our country roads.

This particular morning the world has taken on a foggy beauty. The neighbor’s horse and field are enveloped in mist, and the tree line beyond the fence is barely visible. The road is slightly damp, and the air feels as if I am running through an invisible sponge filled with almost rain. We will need to pay special attention to the sounds of any on-coming vehicles, but right now, the only sounds are our almost synchronized feet hitting the road, our breathing and some crows who seem to be having a debate about something important.

We run down a big tree-lined hill and then back up a hill to an open field of fog-shrouded corn. We approach more trees, and there is the sign on the pole on the side of the road which is the marker for us to turn around and head for home. “Keep America Clean. Please Don’t Litter.” This canopy of trees covering the twisting road is like a green cave in July. It is one of my favorite spots where I live. It might be one of my favorite spots in all America.

As we head back down the hill we earlier ran up, we spot something dotting the road on the rise of the hill to come. Wild turkeys. The National Wildlife blog informs me that a group of wild turkeys may be called a “flock,” but more colorful nouns are acceptable including “crop,” “raffle,” “dole,” “gang” and “posse.” I’m not sure which noun they prefer, but the entire posse flap and scatter off before we get to the bottom of the hill.

I wonder if they are the same birds we saw last month from our front porch. It was early morning and I was waking up with my coffee when we observed a mama followed seven young ones (Very young ones are “poults” while adolescents are “jakes.” I’m going to say these were jakes.) strolling across our driveway. We saw them two more mornings after that and figured we were on some sort of Turkey Thruway.

We are back home. It is already warmer out than when we left, but it is still tolerable. I’m glad I went out this morning. Running usually clears my mind of litter. I start some coffee and then go out to the front porch. Maybe that dole of wild turkeys will show up.