Sunday, December 12, 2010


(Note: this post is part of a project called Reverb 10, where, for each day in December, writers reflect on 2010 and "manifest what's next." Click here for more info.)

Prompt: Body integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn't mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Thanks, Patrick Reynolds.)

When I opened my laptop, I was going to lie and say that it was the moment I nailed that perfect swan dive in my yoga class. That would have prevented me from writing yet another blog post about trail running.

But it wasn’t the swan dive. It was, in fact, a trail run. Trail runs, to be more precise.

Patrick’s prompt eloquently summarizes what trail running is for me. The moment of cohesiveness in 2010 was not an isolated event, as there have been many such moments. Each season brings a new awareness of the connection between mind, body, and earth. I prefer trail running in the fall, when the ground is a quilted carpet of orange, red and yellow. Yesterday morning, the purple trail at Sleeping Giant was covered, lightly but beautifully, in mostly untracked snow. In May, if we’ve had a blessed rainy season, the stream at Brooksvale Park becomes a roaring river, and on occasion, we have used a fallen tree as a bridge, straddling the trunk and scooting across to the other side. In summer, the Robins have re-established themselves in the oaks and maples. The ferns open up to showcase their lush, verdant leaves.

And there is the adrenaline. And the exertion. And the sound of sneakers crunching in the frozen mud. Trail running is physical, spiritual. Occasionally emotional. But always, mind and body are awake and aware.

The trail is, among many other things, my temple.

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