There are many changes on my horizon, and while running is but a small part of life amongst these new adventures, I find myself grateful beyond measure for the people and the many, many gifts that running brings to my life.
For me, like so many others, running long and running on trails is a much needed freeing escape that allows me to recharge my emotional and spiritual batteries while I commune with nature through physical exertion.
The more I tap in to the off-road running experience, the more I find the quest for speed and distance fades and the need to pursue something for an intrinsic, yet immeasurable, experience takes on a greater importance.
I know that on the rational plane it makes no sense to subject my body and mind to hours, or days of extreme physical and emotional effort, all in the name of fun. It's crazy.
However, if you look closely, behind the craziness of every endurance athlete you will find a sense of reverence. Because in our trials of endurance we discover something transcendent and unexplainable. Often there is some form of spiritual experience. We transcend limits and go into the realm of the unknown. I know that for me, ultra running allows me to slip into a space and place of no-thingness. Timeless, beautiful...beyond effort. I learn, over and over again, that there are no limits. Ever.
For those hard core ultra runners out there, here's a video that leaves me inspired time after time, as Yiannis is a true ultra running hero.