Yesterday, I went for a slow paced trail run at Island Center. Nothing special, I’m working on building aerobic efficiency right now which means I’m trying to keep my heart rate below 136 BPM (more on that later).
The sun was out. The sky was an azure blue seldom seen this close to the dirty air of Seattle. The dense trees cast their shadows over the trail before my feet. I’d left my sunglasses in the car, and I have a horrible time with the glare, so I’d been squinting and tripping as I covered the ground.
Then out of nowhere, I noticed something and my body stopped. Of its own accord. I drew up short before a garter snake laying in a pool of leaves, stones, and sunshine. I stood over the snake and watched for a good long while and while I did I realized that something in the back of my brain had fired. I’d just had a very primal experience.
My unconscious mind had seen the snake before the rest of my gray matter could even bother. Apparently, somewhere in my genetic history is the hereditary understanding that it’s a bad thing to step on serpents.
Beyond this immediate recognition is the understanding that there is power here. If you’re trying to push your body toward the health of your ancestors it’s imperative to find and leverage these bits of knowledge.