Sometimes I can be a real pain. Just as sometimes, I can be scatty, forget where I have put something, forget to buy more bin bags etc. Often, I can worry too much, over-think and over-analyze. Sometimes, I can be moody and answer in mono-syllables. It's a bad day if you meet me when all of this is happening.
We all have our quirks for sure. So what does this have to do with running? Obviously, these traits are not me at my optimum, but I find when I need a bit of ‘me time’, it is running that brings me back.
Running on trails is, for me, a bit like a time machine. The day stops, and it is all about the moment on the path. My worries mean nothing to a trail outstretched. Life’s concerns or angsts are inconsequential.
I got into trail running without any intention to, in my early twenties, and the love for it hit me like a ton of bricks. Specifically trail running on mountains, I just had a thing for those trails at altitude. My first ultra was in 2014, which spanned from Switzerland back to Chamonix, and it went pretty well. After this, I have continued to run in many different cool and diverse places, from the rugged Lake District to the peaceful and very beautiful Imlil Valley in Morocco. Running is the most intuitive of movements and yet it brought me such a feeling of just being “me”.
What is great about it, is that it becomes a really subjective sport. Whether you want to work out something on your mind, whether you want to glide down big valleys or whether you want to go slow and just trundle along to your ipod – there is not official book about how to do it. You just do it your way. It is all about you, that moment, the mountains and that trail.
Maybe in some ways it is why the sport can help celebrate my less than perfect bits too. Trails are “scatty” with rocks and roots, but that makes it interesting underfoot. “Overanalysing" can be quite useful when considering that race profile. Being a bit moody on occasion? Well, I often fun a bit faster when I’ve got a bee in my bonnet.
I run because it feels great. Trails are fundamentally, roads of adventure. I don’t really think there is such a concept as being ‘good’ or ‘’bad’ at the sport because it accommodates every place, every person and everything. We all have our good and bad moments on the trail, just like in life, yet even these are determined by your experience and relationship with trail running. A sport objectively brilliant but subjectively interpreted.
If you want to try it, or perhaps to take your running in a new direction, it just requires a thrill for the adventure, and a good pair of trail shoes. The rest, is just about you.
thoughts, feelings and tribulations about running by runners.