Monday, March 26, 2012

Finding my stride

"My feet and I have this understanding...I place one in front of the other and they transport...its called walking/running/hiking..., and it opens the window of my mind and lets all the clutter rush so much stale air...I don't know what my mind would do without my feet."

-Original author unknown, shared with me via email from my good friend Snowcone.

Running+Vibrams+Mud=delectably dirty feet;)

Jacob on a beloved local trail at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve
It's official, I signed up for my first trail race. I will be running along the Skyline to the Sea 50km trail run on June 10. I've never run an official race longer than a half marathon, and I've only recently run more than that while training for this run. After completing the Pacific Crest Trail back in September, 2011, I promised myself that no matter what future paths I followed, I wanted to keep the daily part of the trail alive. This manifested in a desire to start running. And I feel most alive on trails. So, I've committed to running on trails.

There are running days when I feel whole, aligned, right with inner and outer sense of place and space, and my body moves with ease. I approach these days excited for what's to come, what I'll encounter, and the miles, hills, and hours I devote make me feel strong, centered, and free.

And then there are running days when I feel worn down. My body feels heavy, cumbersome, and each step a chore. My mind starts to focus on the hills, the miles, the time; and they break me down and shout at me to give up. This voice inside stifles my commitment to persevere. 

It's exactly how I felt on a long-distance hike. And, I've had this continued conversation with a realization. Not an epiphany but a truth that resides in the back recesses of my mind. A truth which has revealed itself over and over and over again. One that I face everyday, in every facet of my life. The truth that whispers, don't get so comfy when everything feels right, because very soon you'll feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. 

The ups and downs, in running and life, are in fact, the essential endurance. This is the singular hurdle which rests between the outer world and the inner strength. I'll find my stride by running through the good days as well as the bad.

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