autumn? autumn!

And now for a cheesy post about autumn, so typical of east-coasters who would never THINK of leaving the paradise that is the Bay Area...except during this time of year:

To be frank, I used to HATE autumn. Not sure why. I think part of it had to do with the omninous flute music and earthy color scheme of (boring) 1970s television reruns. Also, because I lived overseas for so long, I never grew up with those American autumnal staples like football, pumpkin-based foodstuffs, and sweatshirts with turtlenecks underneath. In fact, I used to dislike the fall because it basically meant that I would have to wear sweatshirts with turtlenecks underneath.
And I hate sweatshirts!

OK, not really. It just meant that playing outside was coming to a close end and then I'd be stuck inside with my family.
Um, no thanks.
But somewhere along the line, I began to like the fall.

Well, not just "somewhere." I know where this deciduous decision began, goshdarnit, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. It started with high-school cross country. Yes, cross country. I know that sounds really dorky...but whatevs, yo. Cross country is dorky! But that's where it started and you're going to have to accept that about me.
You see, after months of training in hot weather, the season quickly changed to cool, brisk afternoons which made running 70 minutes of hills much more bearable--nay--enjoyable.

Then came the races themselves. Set against a brilliant backdrop of red, orange, and yellow, the meets were both exciting and familiar. Exciting because you never knew where your legs would--or wouldn't--take you that day. (At least that's my definition of "exciting." You?)
Familiar because there was always the coolness and the colorfulness by your side.

My falls at SU came with significant bruises, and were mostly due to drinking.
Just kidding.
My falls at SU came both with and without running, mostly due to knee injuries, impairments and issues. But Central NY provided an awesome substitute for the glory days of Carlisle XC with its most beautiful trees and many an apple festival.
Probably too many an apple festival, now that I think about it.
The point is, I had to mentally and emotionally separate fall from running, which was tough, but, like most college 'experiences,' it is something I wouldn't trade for the whole wide world and for which I am now a better person who can share my experience with, and provide support for, others who are also going through this difficult challenge related to knees, autumn, running and apples.
I am here for you.

Since healthily separating fall from running, I have come to love its other above-mentioned American adornments: football, pumpkin-based foodstuffs, and...well, call me a party pooper, but you'd still be hard pressed to find me wearing a turtleneck. But I can say with unwavering confidence that autumn has slowly made its way to the top of my favorite-seasons list.

Well, if I was on the east coast.


the existentialist said...


i could sing the praises of pumpkin pie all day!


Lizzie said...

As a former xc runner from Syracuse, who now lives overseas, I completely relate. Thanks for articulating my feelings for me.

By the by, I'm a friend of Spooner and stumbled upon your blog via her blog. I have been a loyal fan/reader for almost a year now. I hope that doesn't creep you out. You write great stuff.