The nature of trail running is exactly that: nature. We get the opportunity to push ourselves in the outdoors and allow it to teach us about life. Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Hour of Land states, “Wilderness is an antidote to the war within ourselves.”
Perhaps resolutions can be redundant for the outdoor enthusiast. Trail runners are accustomed to setting big goals and diving into the unknown wholeheartedly, and for many of us, every day feels like January 1. If you think you need to reinvent yourself this new year, think again. Instead of making resolutions, consider doing the opposite. Keep doing what you love, learning from nature, and being your ambitious self. No resolution required.
Trail running brings us closer to nature, which teaches us not to force change. As well, persistence causes resistance. Change can cause friction, even at the molecular level. As self-help guru and author of The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson explains, “The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”
Embrace the dirt
If you are making goals for 2019, make them big, scary, and messy–just like trail running. Goals are just like trail running. They involve obstacles to get over, wrong turns, lots of dirt, and can be uncomfortable. Think of dirt as the process. It’s messy, uncomfortable, and doesn’t guarantee shiny results at a finish line. Embrace the uncomfortable.
Love the process
When you’re struggling up a big climb, it can suck. Will avoiding the climb make the hill disappear? No. The only thing that will is embracing the suck and getting up and over the hill yourself. Love every step of the suck. Make a goal to love process in itself.
Sometimes technical descents are scary and it’s hard to let go. But letting go on the trail is the key to running fast. Letting go in life can set you up for success. Let go of the desire to control circumstances or outcomes. No need to strive to seek spiritual or physical transformations. See above: change nothing.