There is no hustle and bustle here, no deadlines or agendas to meet or even an expectation. Stress and tension are forever gone and there is no need for antidotes. There is the willingness of many to pay a hefty price for such a place of escape, but the rite of passage here comes at a different cost. There are no monetary fees for entry, but few are willing to give what it takes to arrive here. Effort and determination are required to get here, but the payoff is worth the exchange. There is a level of covetousness to arrive at a place where happiness reigns and everything in the world is right; a place where you can do no wrong and all judgements have ceased. All forms of fighting and destructive forces dissipate here and nothing but peacefulness is left for the taking. Apart from all the wonderful aspects of escapism the scenery here is the icing on the cake; always picturesque and always refreshing no matter the day or season. This is exactly the place I arrive whenever I run into the backwoods or mountains, and this is the place no one can ever take away from me.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Running into the forest on a cold winter's eve can be an eerie experience, especially when the wind is whipping around producing those extra little sounds that startles you at every turn. Yet, I boldly proceeded into this scenario, just me and my imagination. The night air was crisp and a thin layer of clouds began rolling in producing a perfect evening for a trail run. I ran for miles into my tunnel of light before I heard the large crackling sounds emerging from the darkness, a sound instinctively informing me that something was there. As I scanned the darkness with my headlamp I discovered six glowing eyes looming in my direction. My blood pressure immediately spiked as panicky thoughts began flooding my mind; I'm being stalked by a pack of wild dogs! As those green glowing eyes kept lurking in the darkness I began to make out their silhouettes; no, they're hyenas! Hyenas in Kentucky? Yes, I was sure of it! As I quickly began to process my fight or flight instincts one of my stalkers turned to leave and I caught a glimpse of a white tail dancing off into the darkness. It was to my great relief that my stalkers were deer! A smile fell upon my face as they made they're way back into the darkness, and as I tilted my head back with a chuckle I noticed the crescent moon lurking through the cloudy night sky just beyond the silhouette of barren branches, which was a guarantee recipe for my eerie evening to continue. This was my cue to start running back in the direction of the car before discovering that my next night stalker could very well be a werwolf or something worse, like a herd of deer.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Winter hit a little early this year bringing a fair share of snow and freezing rain. The winter training months are surrounded by monitoring weather reports and mustering the determination to go out and bare the elements. By far, the efforts to prepare for a marathon through the winter months is well worth the exchange. For example, the day after a cold front dropped a bit of freezing rain upon the region I ventured on out to the local trailhead only to discover the mountaintops glistening. It was a bone chilling afternoon as the wind whipped around trying to divert my endeavor, but I knew the trees would do me the favor and shield me from its bite. The mile run/climb to the top was brisk as the cold air clung to my layered body, but as I crested the mountain ridge my breath was taken away; it was not because of the steep mile high climb I just ran, but by what greeted me at the top. I suddenly found myself running through a winter wonderland as the ice hung heavy on the barren branches of baby oaks and maples. As I whisked through a section of fir trees drooping over the trail their diamond tipped limbs greeted me in a type of gleeful delight. I continued to run for miles upon the mountain ridges engulfed in the silent beauty the trails had to offer on this blistery winter day. Thus far, my journey to the Land Between the Lakes marathon has been memorable to say the least.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The next leg of my journey is running a marathon trail run at the Land Between the Lakes in western Kentucky. Thus far it has been quite a journey of experiences. The shorter daylight hours of winter has led me with no choice but to run the local trails at night. This particular experience has been surprisingly exhilarating for me. At first the silence of the trails at night were eerie until I discovered the serenity this nighttime silence offered. On one occasion I even had the opportunity to run the night trails in the snow, which had a wonder and beauty all of its own. Snowflakes were falling like stars in the light of my headlamp as the forest floor glistened beneath my feet. The apex of this experience was found as I reached the crest of my mountain climb. The air was crisp and the silence was deafening as the snow clung to the branches of fir trees producing a winter wonderland. I was stunned with the inexpressible beauty of this moment that ended with a level of gratitude that it is an honor and privilege to be alive on this planet.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Running the trails for miles on end is the most freeing moment of the day for me, but second to that is the biews that it delivers. There is no greater satisfaction than to traverse up the side of a mountain only to be lavished with such vista views. It's always well worth the effort, wouldn't you say?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Yes, I hate fitness. Now don't me wrong, I do maintain an overtly active lifestyle just so I can participate in the activities I want to do. What I particularly do not like about fitness is the mindless pursuit of building up non-functional muscles; basically, fitness today is mostly about "look-at-me" rather than for functionality purposes. I despise the gym factor the most, especially the dredmill because it does not truly simulate running (at least not in the way of truly pushing off the ground with forward momentum). Also, there is little sense for me in men gawking at spandex while trying to bulk up on machines, so I prefer to head outdoors and do body weight movements to improve my strength and agility for my activities (push ups, pull ups, crunches, burpees). What I also hate is nutrition. Again, don't get me wrong, I do maintain healthy eating habits in order to properly fuel my body for the activities I want to engage in, but what I do despise are all the trendy vegan paleo diets out there. I personally do not think eating oriental white chia seeds will help improve anything that eating good ole fruits & vegetables and lean meats will. Yes, I am aware of all the nutritional arguments out there and my rebuttal is 26.2. You see, I can careless about fitness & nutritional trends much less what everyone else is doing. I simply crank out 13+ miles on a mountainside for my own enjoyment and not because it is good for me to exercise. I eat properly not because it is good for me, but because it fuels my body to help me engage in such activities. You see, for me it is just a lifestyle with the sole purpose of going out and enjoying life to the fullest on my own terms. Thats it.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
I hate Facebook. In my observations I have discovered people are basically wasting their lives away in it's glowing blue light. People vicariously live their lives thumbing through insignificant posts of another who is enjoying their chili cheese fries while watching their kid blow milk bubbles out their nose. Now thats what I call living it up! So I recently asked a Facebook user what life adventure they aspire to engage in at some point of their life. They mentioned about going to see the Grand Canyon and other similar type activities, which are awesome in their own rite, but they were all hopeful contingencies that may or may not ever transpire. Then they asked in return what adventures I would like to engage in. My response? I am living my adventure right now! I have ditched Facebook altogether by closing my account in exchange for a life adventure away from the couch. My current life adventure is running through mountain ranges in preparation for Spartan Racing (www.spartanrace.com). The experience of running along rock ledges is incomparable to that of living life from the couch. The mountaintop views are far better than any of those from the couch, even if they are in HD, and it is far more exhilarating rounding a bend in the woods and literally coming face to face with a deer than it is to read another post about what someone else is watching on TV. Basically, life is just way too short to waste on Facebook and my life adventure is now. Therefore I dare not waste.