Trail running helps you reconnect with both. Take good care of them.
Trash Running Community in China
Imagine… you are in the subway. It is busy and noisy. Everybody is looking down at their screen, headphones on, either browsing the web, watching a movie or playing a video game. They don't see you and it almost feels like they don't feel when they bump into you.
I guess you have most probably experienced these unpleasant feelings whenever commuting in big cities. This is what I struggle the most with since I moved to Shanghai 1,5 years ago. China is extremely advanced digitally and people constantly feel "ultra-connected". Yet it feels to me like they have completely lost connection with the most important things: their body and their environment.
What does it have to do with Trail Running? Well… I believe Trail Running helps reconnecting with both.
During the week, I spend most of my time sitting on a comfortable chair at my desk, in a building with heating/air conditioning systems to make sure that I am never too cold or too warm; and to save my energy, I will use the elevator… Nothing makes me feel good or bad anymore.
That's why I trail run; because it makes me feel alive! Trail runs are long, you go through many ups and downs, not only physically but also emotionally: the excitement at the starting line, the muscle pain, the joy of reaching the top of a mountain, the fear of falling when running down, the sense of accomplishment at the end... This gives you REAL FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS.
Charlie feeling alive while racing in China
Trail running helps you reconnect not only with your body, but also with nature. In big cities, people completely lose physical contact with nature. When going on easy hikes around Shanghai, I always come across families, with kids who seem to discover nature for the first time: they play with river water, try to catch small insects, look at plants with curiosity… And they clearly have much more fun than any kids I see in the shopping malls.
I guess this is the same fun that we have as trail runners. We jump over rocks, we slalom between trees, we slide in the mud… NATURE IS OUR PLAYGROUND, and this is the best of all.
TAKE CARE OF THEM
When doing outdoor sports, you need both a healthy body and a healthy playground. Eventually, this makes you realize how important they are, and you should take care of them.
Be grateful for your body and all the possibilities it gives you. Be grateful for the fresh air, the blue sky and green landscapes. Sounds cheesy? Maybe it is, but I believe the current COVID‑19 pandemic has made us all realize that what we used to take for granted last year can be disrupted without warning. As sport and outdoor lovers, we absolutely need to protect ourselves and our playgrounds.
PS: SOME TIPS
• To stay fit and avoid injuries, read the Easy Tips to Prevent Running Injuries article
• If you want to help preserving your running trails, you can join local plogging events (Plogging comes from combining, "plogga" in Swedish "to pick up" and jogging. Great way to get fit and at the same time clean up) *
Volunteers plogging in China
*For all runners living around Shanghai, Trash Running is now organizing short trips to the mountains to trail run and pick up trash. Great way to train, have fun, and give back to the nature. Get in touch with me for more info and check them out at www.facebook.com/trashrunners