Running is not only a great form of physical exercise, its also great mentally. Running has also taught me many valuable life lessons. I love running with friends, but sometimes you need that clear your head run. I recently discovered trail running, total game changer.
A friend had invited me a few months ago to meet her for a early morning trail run. Her fitness group was training for the Tougher Mudder, which is now on my race bucket list.
There were about 15 or so that morning, all different running levels. Our choices were the 5mile or 9mile trail, we stuck with the 5mile crew. I fell in love with trail running within those first few steps. It was a cool, crisp morning and i was surrounded by the peace of the woods. Even though it was a group of us, it still felt like i was running by myself.
So how does trail running differ than road running? No matter where you run, you always need to be aware of your surroundings. When you’re running on the open road, you just run, looking straight ahead. On the trail, you have to be completely aware of your surroundings. I spent a lot of time looking at my feet and in front of me. Paying close attention to roots and obstacles on the path. The ground is sandy and soft, unlike the hard pavement. I felt like i was using different leg muscles while on the trail. Picking my feet up higher, jumping over roots and running up steep banks.
Now let’s talk about those pesky roots for a minute. Many of the roots are big & visible, but it’s those sneaky hidden roots that you’ve got to watch out for. So here I am on my 1st trail run. There are about 5 people behind me and I trip over an unseen root. I fall face 1st into the ground. Embarrassing right?! I had 5 pairs of hands helping me up and making sure I was ok. I was and we finished our run.
I started thinking about the parallels of trail running and life. Daily we face the obstacles and struggles of life. Some struggles are huge and majorly visible. We try as best as we can to avoid them and move past them on the path of life. Struggles in our jobs, marriages, finances, family, and the list goes on.
Then there are those pesky “roots” that life throws at us. The curve ball that you weren’t expecting. A sudden death, fight with a friend, and the list goes on.
Suddenly you find yourself falling face 1st and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. I have found myself sitting on the ground many times. Reeling from the pain of the fall. Thinking how will I get up and move forward?
But it’s all about finding the strength to get up and brush ourselves off. It’s also in those moments you feel the hands of your loved ones, picking you up. Sometimes its a fall where you tuck, roll and pop up, with your hands in the air. Saying “I’m good” and keep on running.
Then you have those falls where it hurts and you’re in pain. Those moments of vulnerability but you know you’re surrounded by people who love you and help you get up.
I’ve been blessed with an amazing support system and a tight group of friends. Those people that I’m running life’s trails with and when we fall, we are there to pick each other up.
My hope and prayer is that everyone has someone to help them up and support them. So lets be intentional about our relationships and be there for someone when it truly matters.