Thursday, August 8, 2013

"But You're An Animal....Baby It's In Your Nature...."

Hey There!

Yes...I know....I know! Let's just get this little dance over with shall we? (Unless we can do it to "Blurred Lines...then I'm game.)

I'm sorry...I have not been too busy...just not able to get my thoughts together. Yes, Colorado is two months away and I feel like a freshman girl who just walked down the senior high school hallway and saw the entire football team. Excited is not a word that can even be used right now. The Bourbon Chase is coming together nicely and I am studying each leg to see where I will be best suited. All in all...happy running!

But that is not what today's little blog is about...

It is about something on a higher level (oh no...here she goes!) It is about something that brings road and trail running together. It stretches from the city to the mountain. From sea to shinning sea people! (ok...that may be too much)

So here we go!! (brace yourselves...I am jacked!)

Question!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone that leaves you desperately wanting to see things through their eyes and you just can't?!  (don't worry...this has nothing to do with politics!)

Well, I did a few weeks ago and in the end it really opened mine to the world around me and revived my love for running in general, not just trail. It was a conversation with someone who only runs road and it left me trying to figure out what she had against running in nature (as she didn't seem to like it much.) It was a wonderful conversation and I am 100% sure it ended for her when the conversation ended...but for me there was just no way it could!

Now, I will let you know, my first thoughts were justified. I mean...how could someone NOT like what I like? This cannot be happening as I am ALWAYS right! What is WRONG with them? (take it in jest people....you know me)

*Sigh*

The whole conversation left me bothered. Not because this person did not like nature, but because I could not see how she could be so focused on the differences between nature and city life and not acknowledge the similarities. It made me realize how lucky I was to grow up in the part of New York that I did. I had NYC and nature in my backyard, available to me at any moment. All I had to do was pick what my heart desired and I was set.

What the *&$^%*$# am I talking about?

Well...I will show you. I think you will get a kick out of it.

(First picture is from Kilian Jornet's FB page...as you can see it is a mountain and I had to "borrow" it as I do not have this. What I do have is my picture of Columbus, OH. I mean..even the angle is the same...nature above and below....too funny if you ask me. Who says the two aren't alike?!)

(Second picture...safe to say it is an apartment building. The rock formation next to it is from the RRG. Makes me wonder if the guy/gal who designed the building likes to explore and hike ;) )


So by now you are looking at these pictures thinking "Ok...I don't get it" and I get that...but take a closer look. How funny are they? I mean, as animals...how ridiculous are we?! Still nothing? OK....moving on....

What started all this? Well, it seems that at some point during every conversation I have about running the following is said:

 "I can't be in the city...just too much for me"

OR

"I am totally a city guy...nature freaks me out."

REALLY!? What the (*%$@#* do you think Central Park is trying to give you?!

If you ask me, we as humans do nothing but take nature and totally try to control, dominate, and recreate it, without realizing how much we need it on a basic level.

The city pictures shown here were taken during a run in Columbus, Ohio earlier this month. I was not happy to be running there but since the nearest trail was 23 miles away and I did not have that much time to explore, I figured any run was better than nothing. As I took off from the parking lot down the sidewalks I really tried to get into a trail "frame of mind". I wanted so badly to be on the trails and this need left me determined to take something from this city....anything that would give me the same feeling I have when in nature.

And let me tell you, I am so happy I ran and wish I could have taken people who are hesitant to try something different along with me. I would have loved to have taken my "road only" friends on the trails and asked them to compare it to road running. I would love to see if they could pick out some part of the trail and compare it to a spot where they run. I would love even more to have taken my "nature only" friends and made them stand still...close their eyes...think of their favorite place in the world and then look around and see if they can find something in the city that reminded them of it.

Now, you may be laughing but it is truly a wonderful little experiment and I dare you to try it. To realize that we as animals instinctively have the need to remain connected to nature is kind of funny. It gives me hope for humanity after all!

I can't help but smile when I see a large building or skyline on a run.  I wish I could meet some of the architects of these buildings and see if they love mountains and nature. I wonder if they even realize what they are creating. I wonder if they feel the need to be out there and since they are not they are subconsciously recreating that need within city limits. It seems to me like that is what has happened. Or perhaps they love nature and want to bring the beauty of it to those in cities. The beauty of a mountain range is similar to the beauty of a city skyline. The sunrise and sunsets work their magic in the same way...and with the arrival of both, life reacts. Streams run through mountains and provide so much to the surrounding area. Rivers run through many cities and fulfill the same needs. Trails provide passage and entertainment just like the sidewalks, roads, and subway stations do in cities. Animals (especially squirrels and birds) build their nests in trees surrounding each other and humans live in townhouses and apartments. Certain animals come out with the sun and some with the sunset and it is safe to say some humans do the same thing :)

A feeling of sadness comes over me when people make blanket statements about one type of person or another. It is sad because if we all just took time to look at things, we would realize that on a basic level we all get the same wonderful feelings. Some find it in nature and others find it in a recreation of nature. The appreciation for something bigger than ourselves and the need to interact and reconnect with nature on some level...whether it be nature itself or others of our kind is there in most all of us. We all just have to realize and appreciate it in each other.

So next time you go out for a run....run somewhere you would never consider. I am not saying go out and "kill it"....perhaps just go out and explore. Close your eyes and relax, open, and take a look around. You may get a totally different appreciation for what is around you. It may make your running a little more enjoyable or ignite a new fire (just don't go igniting any fires on the trails OK?!) :)

*Steps off soapbox*

So that is about it. I am trying to enjoy everything around me and see it with "new" eyes. I am uber excited about Colorado, as I feel that it really is my "home" on the most basic level, and just as excited for Bourbon Chase, which will be right after.

Oh...and I got one of those "blue balls" (hehehehe...I know...am I 15 or what?!) to roll out all my aches and it is working well. Never did I think sitting on the floor in pain would be so much fun!

Well...until next time...just ignore my grammar and punctuation...remember I write like I talk and I will see you soon! OH...and speaking of that...it has been recommended that I provide an "audio" version on my blogs. Could you EVEN imagine how much fun that would be. Look out...one day it may be live video people!

Beth...I hope there were enough !!! for you...I pretty much screamed the entire blog ;)




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