“May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”
For a crazy reason some people hate running outside. They feel like they look stupid, are going too slow, or think people think you’re crazy. I read a quote that said there are three kinds of people that will pass you:
1. Runner’s in car: “Work it momma! That hill is a beast! So glad my run is over for the day! I can’t wait to run again!”
2. Runners running: “Hi. This sucks doesn’t it? But so awesome. Have a good run.”
3. Non runners: “I should be doing that. But it looks so hard. I should not do that.”
Haters gonna hate, players gonna play. Which group do you want to be apart of? Me? I’d rather be standing at the top of the hill that I just dominated, unable to breathe, ready to puke, hair matted to my forehead and boob sweat on my shirt than at the bottom wondering what it would feel like.
-Empire, Michigan bluff trail
I choose to run. And I choose to explore. I always say that my runs are my alone time with God. Nothing makes me feel closer to Him than looking up and seeing the beauty he has created. I love running on a gorgeous trail just as much as the next but I think my favorite runs are the ones I look up and see the sun setting. I used to run from my house in Knoxville and watch the sun set over the mountains, it took my breath away. That was just my every day run after work, how lucky?
Running releases enough endorphins as it is but out on a run and enjoying my surroundings gives me butterflies. My heart warms. Like God’s arms wrapped around me. It is an incredible feeling, I can’t explain it. (Maybe I need to lay off the endorphins.)
I even found a list of 6 benefits of exercising in Nature (thanks wildbodywellness) :
- Fresh air has more oxygen.
- Greenscapes raise serotonin levels.
- Triggers primal regions in our brain and psych.
- More sensory stimulation.
- Increases feelings of well-being and lowers depression.
- Sun exposure increases vitamin D levels and helps optimize hormones.
With races along mountains, next to bodies of water, and even ones that finish on your favorite football team’s 50 yard line, the view and the places you get to run open your eyes to the beauty of the world. If the thousands of people running with you don’t already get your adrenaline pumping find a race out of state, with a dream scene, or somewhere out of the norm. Even a training run can be an adventure. I took my mom and sister (on bikes) on a behind the scenes tour of Knoxville during one of my 20 mile training runs. They saw places that you would never see in a car.
I have raced at the Golden Gate Park in San Fran, I have run along the Empire Bluff trail that was featured in Runner’s World magazine, and I have finished on the Tennessee Volunteer’s 50 yard line. Those all are bragging rights and noteworthy places but I remember the feelings and memories of those places the most. I know a lot of my friends have seen and raced even more amazing places than those! I have dreams to add the Grand Canyon, run while watching the sun set from every coast, and so many paths around the world, even The Great Wall, to my list.
-Chimney Tops in the Smokey Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
My point of this today is that you should get off the beaten path. Running isn’t bound to a field or a court. These miraculous views are our gym!! That is what is so amazing and incredible about picking this passion! We, as runners, get to see this world first hand in the most raw way.