Today was my first day in Pineville for Christmas. I have spent a lot of my life in Pineville, Louisiana. In addition to being here every Christmas of my life, including when I was a month old, I used to spend a month of every summer down here as well. Over the years I have done a lot of running in Pineville. When I was younger and my Nana didn't want me to go out running on the roads by myself, she used to take me and my sisters over to a par-course at a local college. The par-course was a half-mile loop. I would run laps around the course while my sisters played on the activities. When Katie and I got older, we would run over to the college together and do laps around the same half-mile loop. Over and over and over. I used to make up all sorts of games to distract myself while running on the loop every day. There was a part of the loop that was always covered with sand that washed over the pavement when it rained and there was another part of the loop that collected water from the sprinkler system. I would pretend that the loop was a miniature world and I had to run through the deserts and along the marshlands to chart the territory. I also had a cassette walkman that I used a few summers. I had like 2 cassettes and another game I would play was trying to make my pace even every day so that I was always at the same parts of the loop during the same parts of the songs.
Now I don't feel fulfilled if I visit Pineville without running at least one lap around that par-course. This afternoon, I went running with my sister, Katie and her dog, Huck. We headed out away from Nana's and both found ourselves naturally heading toward the college. We did a loop around the par-course, and I couldn't believe how small the loop felt. I loved returning there and thinking about how much running has been a part of my life for the past 15 years or so.
After our obligatory loop, Katie and I headed into downtown Pineville and ran straight down Main Street. We had a really nice run and I liked having uninterrupted, undistracted time to spend together doing something that we both love.