Trail running is a journey. On a trail one may encounter rough raw stretches, experience divine peace, and witness magical landscapes all while pushing through traitorous and challenging terrain. Running through the wilderness allows one to be free of fixed structures—boundless for lack of a better word. One’s mind is open to endless possibilities as any way can be viewed as the ‘right’ way. Runners are free to be present and choose the path that caters to their thoughts and feelings in that moment. Running on trails provide runners the opportunity to explore various methods of movements. Trail runners may reach their destination without realizing they have exercised a variety of organic movements beyond simply putting one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. As such, trails include unexpected challenges, added technical components and overall, an unpredictable course.
The trail I ran on Saturday was explosive! Yes, an intense word for a short 5km race, but personally I felt a huge surge of power as I darted through the dirt, trees and mud; bolting up inclines and freely zipping down hills. The experience was not only attractive in its complexity, but awakening in context.
Some of my fondness childhood memories include camping with my family and stretching my imagination with my three siblings—bringing rocks and sticks to life in a variety of role plays and games. ‘The storm is coming’ and ‘the volcanic eruption that was going to wipe out the town’ were the common options. As such, I’m not surprised to have developed a fast-friendship with trail running since being outdoors and activating the environment into an amusing reality is something I have done since I was a child.
When I ran the trail this past weekend, I felt lit up! The fact that I got to experience the combination of my passions, the outdoors and running, simultaneously infused my soul with energy.
“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” – Fabrienne Fredrickson
This quote stuck with me during the race and while running the other fifty kilometers I covered over the weekend. I realized I’ve found it difficult to step forward and fully encompass my calling because of the amount of ‘stuff’ in my life. I am, metaphorically, heavy. The joy and simplicity I felt on the trail made me realize how much physical stuff I own and don’t need. In addition, how much other ‘crap’ is clogging me up as a person. If I was running through a forest, I wouldn’t be able to carry much so how am I supposed to carry stuff on my journey in life? I realized it was time to let go of unnecessary items; in addition, let go of a particular way of being. Why? Because life is too short to not embrace the person I want to be.Though it’s liberating to purge, it’s uplifting to have clarity around who you are as a person.This is only the first of many organic steps to be taken, and I’m thrilled to pursue the unknown paths that await both outside and in my life.