We have lived in our house for 20 years now. I've been an active runner for most of that time.
When we first moved in, I would run up to a neat park with a tiny zoo and a pond called Lord's Park.
Then the park got pretty crowded, and it was not as pleasurable to run, and I started serious distance training.
So, I'd drive to the local forest preserve and run the path there. I ran this for years both from home and from work.
Then, as luck would have it, they extended the bike path from our neighborhood almost all the way to the forest preserve. With a small stretch where I need to run roadside, I have been running this path now almost exclusively for probably 10 years now. As much as I love running, the path has nearly no shade, and is fairly boring along the roadside.
I recently started exploring. I have found some wonderful gems right in my "back yard". First, I found a disc golf course that was put in across the road from me which winds around a marsh and leads to a nice little park where I can stop for a drink of water.
Then I found a beautiful park and path around some soccer fields that makes for an interesting, lovely run and a more enjoyable experience for my dog Apex who gets quite riled up by some of the dogs on our normal route.
These have been there for years now without us knowing. How many hidden gems are there in our lives either in our neighborhood or in those around us that we pass every day without ever noticing?
I invite, no, I challenge you to take some time this holiday weekend and explore and appreciate some hidden gems in your life. I know you won't regret it.