My favorite trail is an obscure path in the woods. It is not heavily trafficked. It’s just a little trail that I find magical and it speaks to me. Whenever I hike this trail, I find awesome wildlife, flowers, and something new to look at. Like the John Muir quote above, hiking this trail is like going home.
I’ve always seen the woods as my church, my therapy, and my playground. I know that everyone has their own personal beliefs and ways to worship. Nature just fills my spirit.
I run trails to exercise and to work toward my athletic goals. I also run trails to enjoy nature and breathe fresh air. I never want my athletic goals to overshadow the simple joy I find in the outdoors. If that begins to happen, I need to reassess my focus. This is why I am so willing to re-work my training schedule. I started on this trail running journey with the goal to become an ultra runner one day. The schedule I began to follow started to become a chore and I have searched for one the meets all of my needs. Now, I think I have found a new, flexible schedule that allows me to enjoy the process.
When you have found a new activity that excites you, it is totally normal to start out full force. Sometimes this can set you up for failure. While the expectation of meeting a goal is a definite focus, you also need to remember the other important things in your life. You need to have balance.
My point here is that you need to strive for joy in your life. Nothing else. What gives you joy?