When running on the road, I feel as though I am contained to the road. Although I can turn any which way at any point in time, I do feel constrained to the pavement. Trails, however, allow me to change directions without having to think about it. I pop in and out of bushes, climb steep inclines, hop across streams, run along fallen trees, and the list goes on. The setting perpetually changes, as do the obstacles, and for that reason I feel a true sense of freedom– in addition to the fact I consistently find myself having fun because every step feels like a new world of discovery!
One of the reasons I’ve come to love trail running is because it parallels my ‘way of being’ in life. I enjoy an unconventional routine meaning my work hours change every week as do my activities and passions. Most of my friends have gotten into the habit of asking “what I am up to now” since there is no consistent thread of consistency in my life.
As I zipped along the trails this week I was reminded that there is no one way or right way of living life. There are multiple paths one can take and your path will not be the same as someone else’s. Success varies according to the individual therefore the route in which one chooses will vary from the other. Like running, it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go because you ‘run’ your life at a pace that works for YOU. When you are no longer satisfied with the pace or path, you have the freedom to change directions. Sometimes we convince ourselves that it’s difficult to weave off the clear trail into the unknown. Instead of hauling around the burden of fear, try on the lightness of trust. Trust the trail you have chosen and run it at a speed that works for you. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is how you feel about your run both on the trail and in life. If you’re not living for you and running the path you love, who are you running it for? My advice: Don’t waste your energy running along a trail that isn’t filled with fun and laughter. If you’re not having a super-fantastic time, consider it’s time to choose a new path.