What trail running taught me about beauty
One of last year’s goals taught me something I never expected to learn. I guess you could say I went on a form of spiritual journey, with running as my vessel for learning.
I had set a goal to do a 27km trail run in New Zealand, but I didn’t expect the hours spent training would teach me as much as the race. I discovered the truth that it is the journey, not the goal or the end result that teaches you the most. It was in the journey that I found a new side to Beauty in more ways than one.
It started out something like this – I hadn’t really trained to run long distance in over 3 years. Body in shock, big time. Most of my training was solo, so if you are going to learn about yourself, it’s when it’s hard and there’s not a soul around that you’ll discover the unknown.
I took on numerous local trails, sometimes several times, sometimes just the once. I was exposed to a side of the city rarely experienced by many on a daily basis. It took me a few runs before I learnt the art of relaxing into my body – aided by turning off my music completely. This new level of awareness and relaxation enables you to really open your eyes and ears. I saw the harbour, I saw rivers, waterfalls, rugged escarpments, sandstone cliffs, masses of gum trees, wallabies, snakes, lizards, ocean, sparkling blue, crystal clear. I looked with my heart.
I saw the Beauty in everyone around me – other runners, walkers, smiles, a hello or good morning as you pass them by. Old, young, nameless and random but all Beautiful in their own way.
Running (or any physical activity) enables the Beauty to shine from your soul and out your sweaty pores, through a simple chemical reaction. Endorphin rushes, goals achieved, happiness from ear to ear as you tick down each run to that final goal.
Starting out on this amazing three-month journey I had idea that I would realise Beauty in so many forms. Bring on the next adventure!