Most of you know that I am a Pilates Instructor as well as an avid and crazy runner, business owner and motivator.
At the Pilates studio that I teach at we have a fortnightly staff meeting where we talk through issues related to our clients, updating admin procedures and continuing education. Just recently each staff member had to take it in turns per fortnight to present a mini seminar for want of a better term on an injury/pathology or activity and its relationship with Pilates.
Firstly, I freaked out, because everyone else had AWESOME presentations and little old me didn’t have squat. Eventually I decided to do a talk on the types of running and how that relates to what we do with runners in the studio. We all run yes, but there are many types, you have your short, middle, long and ultra distances, your sprinters and slow and steady runners and you have your trail runners and road runners. It was while I was going through all the different types of runners that my boss asked me what type I felt I was.
3 years ago, hell who am I kidding, as recently as 18 months ago I wouldn’t have even been able to call myself a runner let alone place myself in a category. When I was asked this question, I was able to call myself a runner, but I was still unsure as to which category I was in. I knew that I wasn’t long distance I enjoy the steady pacing of the middle distances, but I couldn’t tell you whether I was a road or trail runner.
It is now a few months later and I can whole heartedly say I am a Trail Runner through and through. I have always loved being out and about and active and give me a run outdoors any day than being inside on a dreadmill. I still run on the roads and partake in the big road races, Run Melbourne and Gold Coast Airport Marathon for example. However, my heart belongs on the trails and in the mountains, even if I must hike the hilly bits.
I am more thankful than I can say in words that our relationship with Trails Plus has enabled me to meet some very awesome Trail and Ultra Runners that have opened my eyes to what can be achieved by the human body. It isn’t just this though. There is something special about running out in nature, about the people that you meet on trail. I have never been in an environment that every single runner, faster, slower or the same pace as you says hello and offers encouragement and a smile (even if it is through the pain of gritted teeth). There is something very humbling about the terrain that you run on and through. A lot of course descriptions will say gentle hills, trust me on a trail this is lies, they are mountains, but you know what I LOVE IT!!! Even if I hike the hills it is all good. This is one of the super awesome things about the trails is it is perfectly acceptable to hike the hills, no one thinks twice of it, you are encouraged to challenge yourself but it’s in the most supportive way I have ever come across.
It’s the people that I have gotten to interact with both at the start and finish lines and out on trail that make it what it is and words can’t describe just how amazing it is and how welcome you will feel, it is like being home. I have come to think of these people as part of our family and whenever we are going to another event I get so very excited that we get to catch up with them all again!
I have made friendships in this short time that I know will be forever lasting. The S Team in particular, have a big place in my heart and we have helped get each other over the finish line more than once!
I must also mention that on the trails is it all about the food and what we fondly call the party table, think of the best aid stations you could ever see!! If you are a road runner you are seriously missing out! You will be very surprised to learn that a lot of trail running is about the food.
Runners in general, myself included, are a crazy bunch. Trail runners in particular are a special and unique kind of crazy. To love the great outdoors and want to tackle and run terrain that most people struggle walking makes every one of us unique. I am so very happy to be part of this world, it fills my heart with happy to be able to be out on the trails with my trail family. I urge all of you to go out there and have a go, you just might find your new favourite activity and your home!
I will always do some of the road runs, but I can honestly and safely say that my heart and soul is on the trails now and that when I am asked the question of what kind of runner I am now I can eagerly say with a huge grin that I am a trail runner!
See you out on the trails,