Running Challenge

When I created this website, I intended to write about adventure as a lifestyle based on a daily mindset. Well, so far I have only written about a huge road trip that I took with some friends last summer. There are more stories from the road trip coming, but I want to diverge from that kind of adventure for a moment and discuss something new I have begun. First, a little background.

In high school I played soccer and football. As a goalkeeper and a kicker—two positions that can develop a reputation of laziness from people who don’t see the day-to-day training—I worked very hard to build and maintain a high level fitness. For both sports I trained daily in agility, strength, and endurance. Now, having just graduated college, I fall into a large category of people who look back and realize they were in the best shape of their lives at 18.

But I refuse to let that remain the case. Monday I ran the worst two miles of my life. Actually, it wasn’t even two miles. I stopped at 1.75 because my head felt on the verge of exploding, and my calves burned like never before. I wanted to lie down and writhe in pain and humiliation for about an hour afterwards. My resting heart rate in high school was in the low 50’s; now it’s in the high 60’s. This is the worst cardio shape I have ever been in. No exaggeration. Since I began playing middle school sports, I cannot remember 2 miles ever being this difficult.  And it’s discouraging. I’m standing at the bottom of a metaphorical mountain, knowing that I was once near the summit. Now I’m looking up at this daunting task of climbing back up that mountain and wondering how long it will take.

Every mountain, every challenge is an adventure. I’m challenging myself now to run a 21 minute 5K in 3 months. If I ran one today, the timer would stop around 30 minutes. By looking at this as an adventure, I can hopefully make the journey fun and enlightening. Running can teach us about ourselves and about the world. It can build character and increase our mindfulness if we take the right attitude. So now I will begin this adventure to take back my fitness. Over the next few months I will write updates on how I’m keeping this challenge exciting and adventurous. I encourage you to begin your own fitness adventure whether that means getting back into shape, or exploring new (to you) activities like yoga, climbing, or weightlifting!

Journey among Giants

Giants before us, above, below, and behind
Green hands stretch far and wide
Drowning the sun like an overwhelming tide
Jurassic ferns sprawl out beneath
The site radiates beauty beyond belief
Red might stands tall against wind and time.

Tire treads and footfalls mark our presence
Blazing trail through ancient forest
Naught but minuscule tourists
Three of millions passerby
The trees to our hearts we hold nigh
But to the trees we are mere moments.

Gliding by like flight
Over hills, and along ridges
Around switchbacks and across bridges
Sly roots mix knees with dirt
Stray brambles shred polyester shirt
Blood and sweat are taken by forest bite.

But the price to ride is still low
Legs and metal propel us
Through natural garden so marvelous
It’s a struggle and a dance
With Earth, composed of pain and romance
The Mighty Redwoods look down, and continue to grow.