หน้าหลัก natural breast enlargement Finding the Joy in the JOurneY: Discovering the Joy and Benefits of...

Finding the Joy in the JOurneY: Discovering the Joy and Benefits of Trail Running

I’m no different from anybody else: over scheduled, over worked, and over caffeinated. There simply are not enough hours in the day to get through the ever-expanding to-do list, and I spend as much time adding to the list as I do crossing things off the list. The demands come from all directions: work, kids, spouse, family, caring for an aging parent, etc. It’s sometimes overwhelming and a struggle to keep a firm grip on my sanity. That’s why trail running is my ‘mother’s little helper’ – to keep me sane, happy, and able to manage the daily onslaught of demands. While I’ve run plenty of miles on the road, the trail is my passion. Pushing myself physically, while I enjoy the beauty of nature is liberating for the mind, body and soul. Maybe it’s the solitude or sounds of the wildlife & wind that allows the noise in my head to quiet – so that I can make sense of previously impossible problems. Maybe it’s the beauty of nature that gives perspective and allows me to find joy in simple things – and reminds me to appreciate those gifts as a welcomed break from routine. It’s my sacred time for quiet reflection and meditation. It’s also a time to let my inner child out to play. Do you member how much fun you had as a child running around outside, splashing in the mud puddles, tramping through the new-fallen snow, getting soaked in a warm summer rain – or just running over the hill to see what you could find on the other side? A good trail run can take us back to those wonderful, carefree times in our lives. Have you ever experienced firsthand amazing wildlife encounters, like a bird of prey diving from the sky to embody power and grace, a pair of glowing yellow eyes piercing illuminated by your headlamp which pierce the darkness and leave you feeling vulnerable, or have something bound, scamper, or slither across your path just to remind you that you are but a visitor here in their world? Have you been able to appreciate the power of nature and have it help to ground you spiritually? Have you felt how small you (and your problems) really are as you gaze across from a mountain top, feeling powerless in the midst of a raging storm, or felt your heart swell at the majesty of colors from the days first or last light crossing the sky? It is moments like those for which I feel a deep spirituality and truly blessed for reasons most people may never consider. The trail – just like life – is never smooth. A mountainous trail littered with rocks, mud and roots, can be seen as obstacles to test your will and mettle. But that’s choosing to view it through only one lens. I try to view the trail through the other lens for its power to make me feel fulfilled and thankful because the joy is in the journey. I see trail running as an analogy for life and believe that it helps me be a better, more grounded person among the other important aspects of my life. I urge you to give trail running a try. You may find regular visits to the ‘dirt church’ to be incredibly rewarding in many ways. Happy trails, my friends! — Linda Author’s Bio: Ive never considered myself a remarkable athlete and still dont. I did a little recreational running in my 20s. In 1992, I ran my first 5K race. It wasnt a remarkable finishing time, but it was a great sense of achievement. Shortly thereafter I got married, had two daughters. Like many moms, I got caught up in the day to day business of being a caregiver and lost sight of the importance of taking care of myself. Now lets fast forward to 2005. Im a 40-something full time mom. Although I loved that role and found it very fulfilling in many respects, I had little identity outside my role as Mom. I didnt like the tired and frumpy image in the mirror any more so I decided to change it by doing something positive for myself. It was time to take up running again. Over the course of the next decade, a spark ignited something within that I never imagined existed. I trained for and completed another 5K and just kept going. 5Ks gave way to half marathons. Half marathons became full marathons. Full marathons progressed to ultra-marathon distances. After my 50th birthday, Id run and completed two 100 mile ultra-marathons. Today, my passion is trail running. I prefer the slower pace, a softer running surface, and the ability to enjoy the solitude and peacefulness of being out in the forest. Trail running is about connecting with nature and conquering the course, whether its climbing mountains, navigating stream crossings, or scrambling over rocks and roots. Motivational mantras have always been instrumental in helping me endure the mentally and physically challenging times when nagging self-doubt tries to creep in and derail my goals. I used to write mantras on my arm with a Sharpie pen to help channel the power of positive thinking. Id repeat these mantras over and over to drown out the voices in my head begging me to quit. It is from this idea that Run Inspired Designs was born. I created a line of jewelry called Wearable Inspiration so that the wearer could have their mantra close to their heart to always remind them of their why when the going gets tough. I find it incredibly rewarding to share my passion with other women and to help them realize that runners come in all shapes, sizes, abilities and ages. Running gives us an opportunity to cultivate a deep belief in ourselves and to follow it to achieve something amazing. Its also about finding the joy in your journey not necessarily the result and dreaming up the next journey. I authored my book, Running Inspired A Journey to Finding Inner Greatness, in order to share my story and send a message of empowerment to all women to find and chase their own passions and dare to achieve something they never dreamed possible. Its a quick read with tips on how to set goals, change your mindset, and break out of your comfort zone. 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