I am the Land
I used to dream of running. Not figuratively, but literally. In my dreams running was effortless, exhilarating. When I would wake from these dreams I’d feel pumped and want to get out and run. There were times that I did. I would put my running shoes on and head out the door, but that is where the dream would end and reality would set in. It wasn’t anything like the dream. I got tired. My legs felt like they were filled with sand. My lungs burned, it hurt, and I was miserable. I hated running – except in my dreams.
But then one day it happened; I ran and it was exactly like my dreams. I didn’t set out to become a runner. I didn’t set running goals, starting small and then working my way to further and further distances.
I sought solitude.
I would go out and walk on trail. I would walk at a fast pace and get lost in my thoughts. Over time walking wasn’t enough. I had to run. And so I did. And when I did, it didn’t hurt, I wasn’t out of breath, and my muscles didn’t stiffen up. I felt light, weightless; like I was flying. It was dream-like. When I ran it felt as though the distinction between me and the land disappeared and I became part of it. I was the trail. I became the mountain. I was the scent of the desert. Trail running changed my life by connecting me to a place.
To my place.
It literally made my dreams come true. Feet are made to feel the earth, send out roots, and grow strong and solid in it. My place exists beneath heavy clouds and restless winds; in soft, warm sand and sunlight. My place exists under a protective mountain and I know it.
I am the land.