Running is one of the most natural forms of exercise there is. We have been running for thousands of years. From hunting, to surviving, to adventuring - running has always been a part of our lives. And yet, many people cannot seem to get into running. They say it’s boring, exhausting, etc. I’m here to say it doesn't have to be! I see a lot of people running on the road, and it looks like they hate every second of it. I can’t blame them. Running on the road is incredibly monotonous. You see the same things over and over again, and there is rarely anything new, plus the road is unforgiving. Put those same runners on a winding trail through the woods and you'll see them enjoying themselves and smiling from ear to ear! You see new things around every corner. You never know what’s going to come next. No matter how many times you run a trail, there is always more you can see, learn, and feel. Whenever I go running, I imagine I am on an adventure, wondering through the woods on some quest.
In a sense, running is a mind game. You have to find some way of making it fun for yourself, or else you will always dread it. Figure out for yourself why it is you run. I challenge you, next time you go running, let go of everything. Let go of all your stress, all your problems, all negative thoughts. I want you to lose yourself in the trail. Lose yourself in the moment. The only thing on your mind is you and the trail. Don’t focus on your breathing, don’t focus on what is for dinner, or what time that party starts. Don't focus on a specific goal, or where you are at right now physically.
“Feel, don’t think. Use your instincts.” – Qui Gon Jinn
When you think about it, running is such a natural movement, shouldn’t we enjoy it? Of course we should! Close your eyes and imagine running through the grass as a child and remember the joy you had. You weren’t training then. You weren’t working out. You were PLAYING. Running was FUN then. In order to smile and enjoy running like you did as a child, you need to let go and find your inner child. Lose yourself in the run and become free. There is nothing like it. Make little games as you run. Smile and wave at those you pass. And most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! You will feel so enlightened. This is the joy of running free.
This is a guest post by Team Xtreme OCR Athlete Eddie Yanick. He has been running all his life and grew up participating in 5 and 10k’s. Eventually he got into OCR, and found his way into ultra running as well, which led to Ultra Survival Running. He says, “I live to train, and I train to live!”, and strives for greatness every day, in one way or another and lives for adventure. It’s all about the journey.