Navigation Junkie….

This mornings post is a little quirky.  I’m hoping some runner’s, cyclist’s and traveling sales people out there can relate.  I am a “Navigation Junkie”!  I love the unknown, discovering a new route, driving to a new location, running a race and not knowing the route.  The freedom of just going and taking in everything your surroundings have to offer.  This morning I did a 6 mile solo run.  I was on my own, which meant I could listen to my music, make up a new route, talk to myself, sing out loud, etc… Really challenge myself, because I had to make sure I was back home by a certain time and not run too far over 6 miles.  I nailed it! My Garmin hit 6 miles right in front of my driveway, 3 min. prior to my goal time of 6:00am.  Mission accomplished!When I was a kid the best birthday present I ever got was my silver huffy 10 speed bike with red curly handle bars.  My birthday’s in June, so the summer of ’82 was when I really jumped on the navigation love band wagon.  I spent so many summer mornings waking up early, before everyone else, hopping on my bike and riding for hours through rural CNY without a care in the world.  Watching the sun rise, riding old railroad trails, stopping and eating crab apples, clearing my crazy “tween” mind.  It was just fun for me.  When I put it in perspective, not much has changed throughout my life in terms of what makes me happy.  My self-proclaimed theme song, “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”, by Iron Maiden; based on the 1959 short story written by Alan Sillitoe.  I love when that song comes up on my iPod shuffle.  It just puts me in a meditative trance.  

Even right out of college, choosing a profession, I immediately gravitated towards a career in outside sales.  The thought of having a large geography, cold calling, and traveling throughout Upstate NY and New England was fascinating to me.  The thrill of working hard to schedule an appointment with a target account in Northern Maine, navigating my way through the ADK, Green and White Mountains then driving up along Rte. 1 in Maine to my destination was magical.  Making stops along the way, gaining new business, meeting new people, taking in the beautiful scenery.  Staying in little towns always with my running sneakers packed and going for a beautiful morning run.  It’s as thrilling to me now as it was all those years ago when I first started out.  I may drive my kids a little crazy, because I refuse to walk, bike or drive the same old way to daily destinations.  If you think there’s only one route to the library or grocery store from our house, think again.  I know just about every side road there is in Delmar NY.  

You can be a “Navigation Junkie” without it messing up your schedule.  We’re all pressed for time.  Finding new ways to get  to your destination just makes life more exciting.  Appreciate your surroundings for what they are.  Seeing a beautiful house, garden, shop etc… that was never on your radar before. It doesn’t take away from having control over your destination, it just changes it up a bit so it will never get boring.  You’re in control of the curve ball.  If you find yourself in a running or biking rut, just head out without a set plan and run or ride!  Literally, stop and smell the flowers, take pictures, clear your head.  Focus on the beauty of your surroundings, not how your legs feel, your pace, etc…  It’s always helped me get out of a rut.  Hopefully it will help you too.  This is not for everyone.  I have a running friend who can never explore the open road with me.  If she doesn’t know the route, she freaks out!  That’s ok, to each their own. 

Are you a navigation junkie?  If you’re not, do you think you could be?  Does the thought of changing it up a bit appeal or not appeal to you?  I would love to know your thoughts.  Please share….

One Reply to “Navigation Junkie….”

  1. Great piece, Nicol. Your enthusiasm come through in every word. When I was working a sales territory, I loved getting off the Interstates to discover new towns and long country roads. One of my favorite memories was of driving in Central NY on some road, rounding a corner to see hang gliders. I had never seen one before. I pulled off the road, got out and laid on the hood of my car watching the colorful gliders float across the air currents. Thanks for the memory. Keep writing.

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