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Weeklong jog around Bear Trail yields few results

March 19, 2003

By Peter Anzollitto

I exercise. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. I occasionally think about exercising. That is a fairly true statement, at least closer than the first. Nonetheless, when a friend recently challenged me to run the Bear Trail every day for a week I had only one question: 'What is the Bear Trail?'

After that question was answered there was only one possible response to the challenge: 'No.' Unfortunately, heckling ensued, so I decided to do it. How hard could it be? A week is only seven days.

Day 1: I step outside my dorm in proper jogging attire, the finest in headband and wristbands, and begin stretching. Before I finish, I realize that I am already winded and sweating profusely. This is going to be tough. Enough for today, I decide that I'll pick up where I left off tomorrow

Day 2: Having stretched the previous day, I immediately begin my first run. I get all the way from Brooks to past Penland when I begin to grow distracted. Before I know what's happening I'm in IHOP with three empty never-ending-pancake plates in front of me.

Day 3: Today I am determined to at least run half of the Bear Trail, but what can I say when compassion overcomes me? I find some people on University Parks and decide to take them to IHOP since I already know the way. Though I didn't run very much of the Bear Trail, I do eat through another three plates of never-ending pancakes.

Day 4: Still looking for bears on this purported 'Bear Trail;' I think the SHARK bus may have taken them. I'm glad we still have the other two, so I decide to visit them and finishing running later. The trail will always be here, but who knows about the bears?

Day 5: Today I'm doing well until a car drives by and honks. Was it someone I know? What were they trying to tell me? I become obsessed with this ominous honk and what message the 'honker' was trying to convey. Discouraged, I walk home.

Day 6: I am close to finishing when a large flock of birds descends upon me -- I think the squirrels tipped them off on my location. The only thought racing through my mind is 'Can birds relieve themselves in flight, or must they be perched?' They can while flying, take my word on it.

Day 7: By using a map of Baylor and several multicolored pushpins I locate the parts of the Bear Trail I have not run yet. I have a friend drive me to the various locations where I run and then we drive to the next spot. Using this technique I am able to maximize both my time and effort and finish the Bear Trail.

Even though I only complete the feat once in a week, I ponder on the good it did me. I communed with nature, made new friends and met a challenge. Was it worth it? Well, I missed a lot of television. A lot of television.