Today, it was in the mid-60s, which was an unexpected gift for mid-December, and I gratefully accepted it. Despite having a cold and a long list of tasks to complete, I hit the trails, which is a decision I never ever regret, and I certainly did not regret it this afternoon. It felt more like springtime than Christmas time, and the trails were muddy from all of the recent rain we’ve had, which is just how I like them actually. There is something cleansing about a combination of mud and sweat, and I still find great joy in running through the puddles. I am a literal hot mess when the run ends, and I am absolutely okay with that.
Trail running truly is a form of meditation for me, as I lose myself in thought and listening for answers. Sometimes, I focus on the lyrics of a song, and sometimes, the music serves as “white noise” for the thoughts clamoring in my mind trying to get my attention to be heard . On today’s trail run, the latter occurred, and what follows are some of the thoughts that emerged.
As I ran with wild abandon, it occurred to me that trail running is a lot like living life off the trails. No matter how many times I have run on the various trails, it is never the same run twice. Sometimes, I almost jump out of my skin in anticipation of taking off on the trails, and other times, I have to talk myself into exercising. Sometimes, I am well-prepared for the run mentally and physically, and other times, I struggle with one or both aspects. Sometimes, I stay on familiar paths, and other times, I venture off the beaten path to find or create a new path. Sometimes, the terrain is smooth and flat, and other times, it is uneven and hilly. Sometimes, I am driven to tears by the sheer beauty of my surroundings, and other times, I am so stuck in my own head that my eyes and my heart are blinded and closed to all that is around me. Sometimes, I stumble and catch myself, and other times, I stumble, fall down, survey the damage, get back up, and run on. Sometimes, I run under bright blue skies and sunshine, and other times, I run in less than ideal weather conditions. Sometimes, I outrun the raindrops, and sometimes, I get caught in the storm. Sometimes, I run in solitude and see no-one along the way, and other times, I am greeted by familiar faces and/or total strangers. Sometimes, I feel like I could run forever, and other times, I feel like I cannot run another step. Sometimes, the benefits from the trail run are immediate, and other times, the results are not seen, felt, or understood until much later, if ever.
No matter how I feel or what happens when I trail run, I always finish, and I always am glad that I did it, even when it has been a tough run. It reminds me of life in general, in that each day is different, as is how we navigate the obstacles and how the journey unfolds, whether it be alone or with a traveling companion. So, what’s one to do? Keep going until you get to where you want/need to go, and then, set out on another journey!
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story
Agree with your thoughts on trail running & meditation. I am lucky to run in some beautiful surroundings and everyday it offers something new.
Thanks so much taking the time to read this post and for sharing your experiences. It’s nice to know that someone else loves trail running, too.