For so long I felt overwhelmed with all the responsibilities in my life. I missed the days of being a child, running carefree through my backyard into the woods, looking for fairies and climbing trees. I felt lost. Then I found trail running.
Lacing up my shoes and losing myself in my run gave me back that feeling. The sun hitting my bare shoulders, the roots and rocks flying beneath my feet, I finally felt free. For that moment in time, gone were all the pressures of the day, my family, my job, just life in general. It gave me time to work things out at my own pace, or just zone out and listen to my music. It didn't matter how fast I was moving or how many times I had to stop. All I had to focus on was the ground beneath my feet and the trail that lay ahead of me.
It's easy to get caught up and get overwhelmed by the big picture, especially with the current state of the world. So many times we're told to focus on the bigger picture, but I've learned, at least for me, sometimes it's important to focus on the small things. What are you able to accomplish right now in this moment? Maybe that's getting out of bed and brushing your hair, maybe it's going for a 20 minute walk, maybe it's crushing a PR you've been working on forever. It's individual to each person and the circumstances of their life in that moment.
What trail running really gave back to me was my sense of self. It gave me back moments in time to really focus on the beauty of the world around me and remind myself that as long as I'm moving forward I'm going in the right direction. Some days I don't do much more than zone out and listen to my music or my current podcast obsession, Sinisterhood. Other days I feel like I'm flying. Each day is important for what it is.
Now, when I'm faced with big decisions, or the heaviness of life is weighing me down, I head to the trail. Whether the sun is shining fully or just filtering down through the trees or even if the leaves are heavy with rain falling around me, I feel home. Being reminded of how small I am and how big the world is centers me.
If you have the ability and access, I implore you find a trail nearby. If you don't have access to trails, find yourself a small piece of green space. There really is nothing that compares to taking a moment for yourself to reconnect with nature. I promise, you'll find even more than you were looking for.