“The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” -John Muir
Running and hiking have been in my life for a very long time. I began running at 13 when I decided to try out for my school’s cross country team. Before that, I had never run farther than a mile (or less!). We had to run 3 miles to make the team. I was determined. I did not let myself stop. I made the team. I went on to become the top runner on my team and to win my share of races. I also ran track and killed it on the 800.
I have always loved hiking as a hobby and, since I’ve moved to Tennessee, it has become much more.
Throughout my life, I have dealt with crippling mental illness and no therapy or drugs have done more for me than running and hiking in the woods. This is where I begin.
I have exhaustively searched for something that can bring joy and focus into my life. I have begun projects and lost interest. I have looked in so many different directions.
A few months ago, I hit a wall. I felt dissatisfied and lost. Every time I felt this way, and took a hike to clear my mind, my perspective changed.
One day I was feeling down and I decided to write. For some reason, I began with, “Dear Universe”. From then, and throughout the next few weeks, I wrote my letters to the Universe looking for answers. Well, somehow, the Universe came through.
I happened to watch the documentary, Once is Enough, about a man who was searching for answers too. He was sitting in a hospital waiting room as his mother lay dying. He happened to pick up a copy of Trail Runner magazine and read about Ultramarathons. Despite the fact that this man was far from athletic, he decided that running a 100 mile Ultramarathon was in his future. He went on to do just that.
Well, this documentary really got me thinking. I looked further into trail running and ultramarathons. In my research, I came across a woman named Catra Corbett. She is in her 50’s and a former addict. She began trail running after hitting her lowest point, sitting in jail. She went on to become an accomplished ultra marathoner.
Reading about Catra Corbett sparked something in my brain and I decided if she can do it, I can do it.
A week ago, I went to REI and bought my first hydration pack. I went on to find a “couch to 50K” training schedule and today, I’m into my second week of training.
This blog will follow my adventure into the trail running world and finding my, “…way to the Universe…through a forest wilderness”. I hope you will join me.