Finding That Happy Place: Trail Running
There are days that I find myself craving the winding, rolling, hairpin traverses of the single track. I am a runner, but I am not the type of runner who trains on a schedule or races towards goals. Ney. I am a runner that loves the freedom I feel when I am zipping past overgrown meadows, or swinging Tarzan style on low lying branches, or launching myself to do side kicks off some rollies (must be the skier in me). I run to be free. I have no training schedule, no timers, no watches, and no idea of how far I am going to run that day. Just running for hours. Well mostly running.
When I get to a trailhead, my regimen usually consists of lacing up my kicks, turning on that perfect playlist and then hitting the dirt. Here is my dirty little secret: I find myself being pulled into the music and the trail so much I break out and start dancing. Yeah, that’s right. Dancing. Even for a few seconds just to drop the beat and then I am pounding the dirt again. It has become an addiction. I find myself doing handstands, popping off tree stumps, using trees as imaginary dance partners; you name it. By the time I know it, a few hours have gone by and I feel glorious! It’s as if the trail has a story to tell and I am its evolution witnessing the changing scenery and discovering what’s just around that corner. I am celebrating the journey. It is here that I have found my happy place.
It hasn’t always been this way. I used to run on a training schedule, with watches to measure my pace and with a goal in mind. Rarely, did I finish a run with the biggest shit-eating grin on my face. It felt like work. Lately, that smile is guaranteed and instead of work it feels like play. The craving I get is not a craving for the physical act of running. It’s a craving for the experience, the feeling I get when I am in that mode, in that place, getting lost in the magic of the trail.