Kari Lynn Dell: The Inadvertent Jogger!

It seems to be the nature of women to take any wonderous occurrence and turn it into a cause for stress and self-deprecation. So it is with my novel, Tougher in Texas, being named as a finalist in the Long Contemporary category of the 2018 RITA® awards by the Romance Writers of America®, awarded at their national conference during a glitzy ceremony. I had barely absorbed the news when I got a congratulatory call from my awesome writer friend Laura Drake, which immediately devolved into the inevitable panic.

“Oh my God, what am I going to wear?

Private online discussion groups were set up for all the finalists, and by noon on day one there was one thread about dresses, and immediately on its heels another about losing enough weight to fit into the dresses, and immediately after that a Facebook support group for everyone trying to lose weight.

Somehow, I don’t think this happens leading up to the Self-Important White Man Book Awards ceremonies, of which there are several.

But I am no better or worse than my sisters, so now that the snow has cleared I am endeavoring to carve off a few of the pounds acquired while telling myself I needed the extra calories to stay warm during the long, bitter winter. And of course this has to involve some form of exercise.

Runners often rhapsodize about something called an ‘endorphin high’, which apparently occurs when you punish your body until it begins to crank out its own painkillers in self defense. As thrilling as that sounds, I usually pass. My lungs are not meant to bleed, so I keep it to a nice stroll that doesn’t make my shins feel like they’ve been stuck with daggers. Given all that, you can see why I was amazed to find myself jogging the other night.

Obviously, I hadn’t planned to jog. If such a plan had crossed my mind, I would have had the sense to stay on my couch until it went on its merry way, as most of my thoughts are prone to do. On this particular evening, though, my husband asked me to bring his tool pick-up out to the far north hayfield, so he’d have something to drive home when he finished up for the night. It was a lovely evening, so I decided rather than having someone follow me over on the four-wheeler and bring me home, I’d just hike back.

I had to cross a pasture to get to the hayfield, but our small band of Longhorns were clear out in the farthest corner, so I left the gate open on my way out. I should know better. Longhorns can smell the breeze blowing through an open gate from a mile away.

I parked the pick-up and set off for home. Halfway across the flat, I realized the Longhorns had stopped pretending to graze and were marching directly toward the gate, with a big black spotted cow taking the lead. I could practically hear her calling out cadence to be sure everyone stepped along smartly. The bull, I noticed, seemed a little testy, rumbling and growling and shaking his horns.


I broke into a slow trot, blundering down the rock-strewn trail on one side of a large draw, hopscotching across the bog at the bottom and chugging up through the buck brush. When I staggered, rubber-legged and huffing like a steam engine, up the other side, the Longhorns were dead even with me. Worse, I was in the center of the pasture and the bull was glaring at me with evil intent. The lead cow, recognizing my dilemma, made a swift command decision. Forget the gate. She led them south instead, cutting off my direct line to the corrals.

Luckily, a smaller draw intersects the main draw and I was on one side of it with the Longhorns on the other, moving parallel. Ignoring the complaints of my oxygen-deprived body, I kicked into a brisk jog. The lead cow also picked up her pace. I stumbled over mounds of bunch grass and into gopher holes, my vision beginning to blur, but didn’t dare slow down. The side draw ends a quarter of a mile short of the fence and we were on course to collide at its head.

I drove my shrieking legs and hemorrhaging lungs onward, assisted by a healthy dose of adrenaline. The bull was twenty yards behind when I dove through the fence and sprawled on the other side, gasping for air. The Longhorns gathered to sneer at me, elbowing each other and snickering, then wandered off in search of other entertainment.

I shoved my aching body into an upright position, plucked wild rose thorns from my knee caps and examined a row of small puncture wounds from the barbed wire. My chest felt like I’d snorted cayenne pepper, my calves were starting to cramp, and I reflected once again that if this is what joggers call a natural high, I’d hate to see what they consider a low.

As for me—if this is what it takes to trim down, I’ll just go ahead and order that dress in a larger size. 

For more visit KariLynnDell.com or find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karilynndellbooks.


Note from Ruthy! Kari has generously offered one paperback copy of “Tougher in Texas” and one e-copy of “The Long Ride Home” to two happy readers! Leave a comment to be entered!

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33 thoughts on “Kari Lynn Dell: The Inadvertent Jogger!”

  1. Kari- you always have the funniest blogs. What a way to wake me up this Friday morning. I’m with you on a runners high.. that would not raise me up on bit.. Yikes call the EMT’s. I would be toast.
    I can relate to your delima quite well, that fear and adrenaline when being at the mercy of the “bovine” version of tag. It’s the fear of not making it out of that pasture to safety as the pasture seems to grow larger the closer you get the fence.
    I was helping out at a feedyard one time working some gates for the cowboys taking Go homes back to their pens, I was heading over to another part of the yard and looked up st the brindle cross staring me down, well long story short she put me up on top of the silage pit. Didn’t know I could climb that fast. If she could of reached me she had human shish ka-bobs on her mind. LOL.
    Congrats on the 2018 RITA Award. I’ll say it again, your books are so phenomenal and I’m proud to of found an author that truly knows how to write Rodeo and give it true authenticity. Keep writing these great books.

  2. Hi Kari, so happy to meet you here on P&P. You have me a great laugh this morning. These days I would have been lunch if I’d been in your shoes. I can’t power walk, let alone job lol . Isn’t it amazing how the ability to escape motivated anyone really to run like the dickens. lol Thanks for sharing your dilemma with us.

  3. I had to laugh about the threads that were started. It is actually sad we are so self conscious.

  4. Oh. Wow, lol loved it. I’m from Kentucky. Ive had that almost happen… Thank you for my smile this morning.???.

  5. Oh my I just loved this blog! So funny, at least afterwards, right. Your not a Texas Cowgirl because no $#@% or any other bleeps were included. I would have been call that lead cow something other than a cow… I love the opportunity to win and read your book. I’ve absolutely loved all your books I’ve read so far!!

  6. I have lived on a ranch, visited many farms like you are describing as a child visiting family in northern Montana, so I can see the landscape. I can see those cows thinking. And I feel your pain from your jog, and fence diving. Thank you for putting a smile on my face this morning. It reminded me why I don’t jog.
    Congrats on being a finalist for RITA.

  7. Love your blog this morning!! Had this been me yes I would have attempted to stop the cows but they would have caught and trampled my fat butt into the pasture ground and the cows would probably have stopped and passed high fives all around laughing saying did that fat girl really just try to outrun us??? Although in my demise I may have stopped them from escape for they would have been laughing so hard they would have forgotten to run on out the open gate.

  8. I know how you feel about jogging. I used to run with my daughter when she was practicing for track. Sixty pounds heavier and many years older, I can’t imagine jogging now.

  9. Good laugh this morning.I can’t run or jog myself it is just not in me. I will take a walk sometimes and really enjoy it. It just been so hot here lately. I think everyone put on a few lbs over the winter I know I did.

  10. Hi Kari……Welcome to P&P! We’re so happy to have you visit. Thanks for the laughs. Your post is so funny. I can just see this playing out like a movie. I can’t wait to see your dress at RWA in Denver and I’ll be rooting for you to win the RITA! Such an honor to be a finalist. I’m so proud and excited for you. I love your rodeo series! Each one gets better and better. You put such realism into your stories that’s hard to beat. You can just tell that you KNOW what you’re writing about.

    And those covers ROCK! Dawn does such a great job.

    Big hugs and see you soon!

  11. Thanks for stopping by everyone. We are being total bums this morning, our first day of summer vacation from school. I swear, my husband and I look forward to not making that six-thirty a.m. bus run even more than the kid does. One correction to the blog post: The Long Ride Home is only available in ebook, so the paperback I’ll be giving away is my RITA nominated book, Tougher in Texas.

    And *sigh*. While I was typing this comment my cousin called and asked if we could pop over and help brand a few calves this afternoon. So much for my day of leisure.

    Also, this evening I’m doing a book and music event with my friend, country singer Jared Rogerson, and we’ll be live on my Facebook page at 7 pm MDT. Check out the link here: http://www.facebook.com/events/1049041241929651/ It will be recorded for later viewing if you can’t make the live show.

  12. Love this blog!! I am not one for the jogging either, with this over weight,old age body!! I’ve said for years that if you see me running you better run too bcause something or someone is chasing me!!

  13. Just finished reading your books in fact I re-read a couple because I zoomed through them. Keep on writing!! You’re on my must read list now.

  14. A tale told by a master writer. That Bull was eyeing you for some fun. Glad you escaped almost unscathed.
    Yeah, just get a larger dress size. You will look fantastic.
    Loved your Texas Rodeo Series! The Long Ride Home really got to me. You spin a tale the plays like a movie and really strong, memorable characters. Cole Jacobs is still my favorite contemporary cowboy.
    You got this one, Dear Lady!

  15. I’m not laughing at your “adventure” but you surely tell a funny rendition of it! Thanks for the laughs and smile!

  16. A woman after my own heart! And I am certain you will be beautiful in whatever dress you choose (and in whatever size it ends up being). Although, in deference to those who are number obsessive with their clothing (I have a relative who refuses to buy clothing larger than a certain number, in spite of them needing to wear at least 2 sizes larger at present time) I have heard it said some designers, the more digits in the price mean the lower the size printed on the size tag.
    Having departed that useless wisdom I will wish all a weekend filled with good times, better health and many blessings!

  17. I love your Facebook posts almost as much as I love your books. Every time I read one of your books I want to move to the west and find my own sexy cowboy (I’m sure the husband won’t mind to much lol). Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.

  18. Your posts on FB and Twitter make my day. I am living vicariously in Montana on a ranch through you! Your books come alive each time I read them. Your stories both in your books and in your “real life” always put a smile on my old wrinkled face.

  19. Great post! It made me smile but I bet it wasn’t so funny when it was happening. No longhorns here but we’ve had a Hereford or two that made me very cautious when I walked through the pasture.

  20. I don’t know about cattle but I do know goats hate when your in there space. Hopped a fence or two when I was younger.

  21. This was hilarious! I just finished reading Linda Yezak’s Give The Lady a Ride and this helped me picture it so much better. Love cowboys and rodeos!

  22. Never trust cattle in pastures. Many years ago (in the 60’s) I used to cut cross lots to a friend’s farm to “help.” It was a mile or so through an apple orchard, fields, and then the cow pastures. Most times the cows ignored me, but there were a few mornings/afternoons that they took exception to my intruding into their territory. It didn’t take long to learn to walk along the fence line. Diving through the barbed wire left its mark on my knee the first time I had to go through a bit faster than I liked. Other than the days they were showing me who was really in charge, calving season was a definite problem. It was a dairy farm and if a cow didn’t come in when she should, it was time to go out looking for her and most likely her new calf. They finally decided it was safer for their non-farmer volunteer to stay in the barn rather than risk being confronted by an upset new mom.
    Needless to say, running to race even a small calf or a lamb is not really in the cards anymore. I could poke them with my cane and hope it would give me a chance to get away, but moving fast isn’t an options.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. It brought back many wonderful memories of peaceful walks and very ineffective help given to friends. Congratulations for your nomination for Tougher In Texas. Relax, let your lungs, knees, calves, and barbed wire punctures heal, and don’t worry about the dress. Find one you like that fits well and don’t even look at the size.

  23. Oh my word, yes! Who in their right minds would purposely run? I always say if you see me running, then you’d better run, too, because something is chasing me. ?

  24. Great post and I love your last thought. A dress that is one size bigger isn’t so bag!

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