The forest is lovely, dark and deep
but I have promises to keep
and miles to go before I sleep
and miles to go before I sleep.
‘This is what I want to do’, I thought as I watched a runner trekking across a lush landscape. The Banff Film Festival trailer played on but I had a thought rattling around in my head; I didn’t know what exactly, but this was it. This is what I want to do with my life.
After our Hot Yoga and over a well-deserved beer later on, I told my wife all about it. Such general terms, I know, but this is where I needed to place my first step. This is the direction I want to turn and face.. and step. She didn’t blink at all. Instead, she began brain storming and laid it out for me. ‘Take the step!’ was basically her advice. But literally; Go hike into the woods with a back pack and tent, clear a camp-site and sleep over night and see what you think. If you like it, keep doing it and set goals for yourself. Learn how to survive and record everything on your blog.. everything.. with pictures! The blog, she pointed out, is a natural fit for me already; it’s ‘organic’ to who and what I am. I just do it because I like it.
And I totally agree with her. I reflected out loud that when I start taking those steps, or more generally, when people start taking these little steps toward a goal or activity, sometimes things happen that we don’t expect. Someone sees what we’re doing and says, “Hey.. if you like that, you should try this!” and we try it and find our direction a little more refined. A little less general.
And you know? That’s what happened. Rachel came in and I began to tell her about what we we had been talking about and she said, “We should totally run the whole Arizona Trail!”. We could run at night when it’s hot, camp during the day. Try and cover 40+ miles/day.. we could SO do this.
Wow! 714 miles of trails from north to south. Elevations upward of 7000 feet! Snakes, scorpions, coyotes, mountain lions and bears!
SOLD! I’m in!
There are tons of questions and a thousand excuses and negatives to this whole idea, but we can’t think of them as excuses, and we can’t dwell on the negatives over-much; they are all challenges. And we can face challenges all day long; we’re runners. Hell! We might even fail somehow, but what a learning experience!
Maybe I won’t become a state-by-state trail runner, but maybe I will. Maybe someone will read my articles and ask me to write about such and such place… or not. Perhaps someone will be interested in what I’m doing and have questions. I welcome it, but I won’t hold my breath either. My wife has sound advice; ‘Do what you feel you want to do, follow your heart and see where it goes, and enjoy the journey.’; that’s what I took from our conversation.
So stay tuned! This summer we’ll be doing the impossible. There will be follow-up blogs and I’ll be leaning on your experience and advice with the questions that come up and the different challenges we face.
“..That the Grand Play goes on
and you will contribute a verse..”
~ W. Whitman