The nature around me is all I could ask for. My breath gets heavier at every step, but I know I cannot give up. The fight against failure is the only thing that keeps my body moving hours after hours and takes me to another level of perception.
When I am running on trails, I am not just running; I am experiencing myself in the deepest way possible. The sense of freedom that a single track can give you is indescribable: you are a point, who relentlessly moves forward, despite the difficulties that it encounters. Step after step you conquer the top of the hill and when you look around, you can see all the excuses, all the “what if”that you did not listen to. The landscape offered by the very peak of a mountain is a story of your past: it shows you where you come from. However, truly said, it is also the story of your future, because it installs in you the need for a tougher challenge. A beautiful view is able to gift you with the confidence to take on a goal, which before ascending that mountain seemed a pure dream.
Sooner or later, trail running becomes an addiction. That is the start of what I like to call “the steep life.” Living the steep life means that the biggest portion of your energy is directed towards climbing harder, faster and longer. You start exploring new trails, trying new routes, discovering angles of your backyard that did not exist before. In other words, you begin to lose yourself in the woods.
That is where the magic happens, where all your efforts become secondary to the flow state that you reach. You do not longer run the distance: it is the distance that runs through your veins, it is the soil that connects with you, the roots of the trees that start rocking you like a baby. Those are the moments that I seek every single time I go for a run; “Running for the experience” is my ultimate goal and even if I do not always reach it, when I do I am overwhelmed with the feeling that it is the right thing to do.
In those particular runs, I become aware of who I am.
I encourage everyone to search for this moments, because I firmly believe in their power. Run strong, run fast, but most of all: run free.