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Joys And Symmetries In Traveling And Running

Before reflecting on 2013 and looking ahead to 2014 (link here), here's a post on my whereabouts as of lately.

I happen to know a good deal about traveling and running, or running while traveling – I do it a lot. During my most recent bout of serial traveling, I bounced around throughout the country: trudging up the foothills in Boulder, snowshoeing from Frisco to Breckenridge, rolling through the hills of San Francisco, gliding along dirt paths in Austin, meandering about the streets of Houston, dancing delicately along iced over streets in Missouri, running a marathon in Orlando, and waking up in Florida to run a few recovery miles before landing in Colorado and catching a few more miles as the sun set.

Chautauqua Park, Boulder 
Along the coast, San Francisco
Views from the Presidio, San Francisco 
Staying warm in Breckenridge 
Snowshoeing, Frisco
More snowshoeing
Good eats in Breckenridge 
Peaks Trail, between Breckenridge and Frisco 
Pre-Disney Marathon with Kevin, Orlando
Views from the back of Flagstaff Mtn, Boulder
Mid-snowy run, Boulder
There is symmetry between the joys that accompany running and traveling. The open road invites a sense of adventure and exploration much like the sight of a trailhead at the edge of the woods. Driving hour after hour through darkness, sunshine, snow, or rain proves a taxing mental challenge as does a long, difficult training run, a hard ultra race, or overnight pacing duties. Both travel and running take you to new and old places, be it in a state of mind or in beautiful surroundings. Days on the road and hours on the trail leave you feeling careless and carefree, alive and invigorated, thoroughly satisfied by the progress made and unduly excited about the miles ahead. Each mile is a challenge, an opportunity to push further, and a possibility waiting to be realized.

These two activities have a central, common element: movement. Movement does not allow for habit but instead demands that improvisation occur, that landscapes are discovered and explored, that challenges arise and be confronted. In movement we find ourselves out: movement takes you away from your comfort zone, teaches you more about yourself, your limits, the world around you and your place in it. Discovery of the world and about oneself occurs in these activities because life on the road and life on the trails is stripped down: tasks are simple and unadorned and nonessentials are easily left behind. It is a joy to discover and the joy is heightened when one discovers oneself truly and sincerely. Such discovery, I have found, takes place easily during mile-after-mile on the road and trails.

Open road

Consider this approbation for traveling and running, or for running while traveling. Travel with people you enjoy spending time with and visit interesting places; roll the windows down on the open road; cruise through the mountains on foot with a group of wild and crazy people. You might find out more than you knew before and you might return home with a new sense of direction.

I couldn’t recommend it more.

Catching some miles with Cassie, Boulder
Hanging with a good friend, Breckenridge
Some special people, Missouri 
Traveling with my favorite all over

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