Yesterday I finished the first 54 miles of the Long Trail (58 total if you include running to the ‘start’ which is 4 miles or so from Williamstown, MA to the border of VT). We had a great weekend of nice sunny weather, no humidity, and, lovely trails to run through. We carried our supplies with us the entire way, and camped along the trail. Please check out the photos posted on this blog.
As I ran, I kept meeting up with through hikers along the way. Some were completing the Appalachian Trail (which starts in Georgia) while others were completing the Long Trail. Also, there were plenty people out for day hikes, and overnights. It was a constant reminder that no matter how old or young, anyone can get outside and enjoy walking in the wilderness. Honestly, there was no standard hiker. Everyone out there was out there for different reasons, with different life experiences, but, the one common theme, that was quite evident to me, was that health and wellness (both physical and mental) was central to their individual well being.
One of the things that I have always enjoyed about running on the trails is the simplicity it brings. I did not hear a vehicle for 36 hours, and, outside of taking pictures, I was completely unplugged form society -which, felt great. It gives you a chance to reflect, and, take a step back from things. One of the things I observe, as a nurse, is how people often do not provide themselves time to reflect. If we are talking about preventative healthcare, surely, reflection, and, taking the time to provide for that, is a necessity.
I think part of taking care of yourself, is to begin from your gut. Think about what truly makes you happy, and, be brave. In order to achieve health and wellness, a gym membership is only meeting halfway. Part of health and wellness comes from listening to your body and taking care of yourself. One of my favorite books is the “Te of Piglet” written by Benjamin Hoff. Here is a quote that I was reminded of while traipsing through the Long Trail this past weekend:
“It is hard to be brave,” said Piglet, sniffing slightly, “when you’re only a Very Small Animal.” Rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: “It is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us.”
Here’s to the adventure ahead.