Austin, I don't hate you anymore

A couple of weeks ago I started walking on the Townlake trail on the river.  It's a 3.5 mile loop and it has invigorated me.   A lot is going on for me personally and even though I am a trained therapist and know the benefits of regular, vigorous exercise I'm still surprised at how good I'm feeling.

It's hot here, like really, really hot.  By 9 am it's 80 degrees with intense humidity, but I'm not letting that stop me.  I sweat, I push, I challenge myself, and for 50 minutes my mind wanders to happy places while my muscles burn and my skin glistens.

I see so many different bodies, all so beautiful in their many permutations: heaving, wet, muscled, soft, jiggling.  I'm reminded that my body is wonderful and lovely and that I'm lucky to have this life and this shell.

Hollis is with me in his (I originally typed "my") fancy-schmancy stroller (I highly recommend it for anyone with back pain and a city/country-mouse personality like mine) and I am well-equipped with snacks, tractor-books, lots of water, and bread for the critters we visit along the way.

I feel as though I could do anything just by completing this one physical act each morning.  I miss it on the weekends when I let life get in the way; I fall asleep exhausted looking forward to it in the morning; I want to at once share it with others and keep it private, for my heart alone.

This new ritual is rejuvenating me.  I can feel it in my soul.  I'm falling back in love with Austin and its sultry, liquid summer.  I can't look away from the beauty that is this town: skyscrapers nestled among green, rolling hills and a languid, lazy river.  It breaks my heart it's so many parts of new and old all tangled together.

Thank you, Austin... you're saving me.  Not only are you reminding me why I'm here, but you're making me feel good about it.  One sky full of cotton-ball clouds, one canopy of luscious green trees bending over me, and one young, hungry swan-family at a time. 

Looking east from the ped-bridge.

Looking west.

Crossing Barton Creek which feeds into the Colorado River.

The sidelong, surreptitious stroller glance all toddlers seem to have down pat.

Herd of turtles.


  1. Oh, man, that trail makes me feel good too. Even when it's hot. Even when it's humid. There's just something about it......

  2. Oh thank you for writing this. I'm currently in Corvallis, Oregon on a month-long "Away We Go" kind of search for the perfect town with a perfect climate. 5 states and 3 weeks into it, I am only finding reasons why Central Texas is the place for us! It is good to hear that your love for Austin is renewing itself, too.

  3. i know all of those places.... austin has saved me many times! and now, i'm also grateful to be back in love with my town. :)