What kind of trail runner are you? Tonight, as I write this, I am the Angry Trail Runner. Not very Zen of me. Not very appropriate, either, for the first editorial of what we hope will be an inspirational magazine.
(Musings of the editor Chris Ord at www.trailrunmag.com starting from the first edition. Join us on his journey both as editor and runner).
I’m angry about the TV program I just watched that introduced me to a theatre director who was shot in cold blood in Jenin, Palestine. Shot for trying to make a difference by encouraging Palestinians to revolt on stage, through art, rather than on the battlefield with guns.
I’m angry at myself, that I even turned the damn TV on. I’m angry that my local river has been (allegedly) polluted by the upstream power plant – fish dead – and I’m angry that it’s obvious they are at fault but I still have to use the word allegedly. I’m angry that one of my dearest friends has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. I’m angry that I can’t pay my electricity bill. I’m angry about big things, tonight, and about small things. Things that matter and things that don’t
Why’s there no bloody milk in the fridge?!! You were expecting light and breezy, right? At the very least I should be writing about trail running by now. Perhaps some yarn about the way I love the weave and waft of the trails? (I do) A yarn about how I grew up in the bush (I did) where the mountains (hills to you Kiwis) were my back yard (they were) and how cross country running in primary school instilled in me, perhaps, my current love of trail running (it did). Hang on. Stop. Turn the damn TV off. Go for a run. There’s a trail on my back doorstep, goddam it.
A quick ten kays. Singletrack loop ‘round the back of town, running too low in the Eucalypt to see that powerstation yonder. Down to the wetlands, up the river causeway (still looks the postcard even if it is poisoned), down onto a wild beach, climb up the headland, along the cliffs and a final surge uphill along some more singletrack scouting through wooded national parkland. The world stank when I trotted off. I can’t remember why but I’m sure I solved all its problems out there, on the trail.
Still no milk in the fridge, but do I care? There’s water in the tap. Trail runners. I reckon on the whole, they’re – you’re – a hearty bunch. You know the solace of a bush crackling with all manner of life other than another human being. You energise at the smells of composting leaves and rich dirt underfoot. Some of us even love the feel of it on our bare feet.
I believe the trendies call it ‘Mindfulness’. That sense of being in the moment, aware. Of the big things, the little things. I love the fact that we run for a cause; it may be our own, perhaps, or others’. I love the fact that trail running can make a difference like that on a large scale – or simply to an individual. Every so often, that change to a solitary soul is on just a grand a scale.
Someone needs to organize a trail run for peace in the Middle East. Or to raise money for lymphoma research. Potentially, but not for a pint of milk in my fridge. I love to share talk of trail. To share love of trail. I’d love to share it with you. Because trail can change the way you feel about the world. I reckon it can change your world. The world? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Let’s start with you shall we?