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Merging Hiking and Running

8 May 2013 10:50 am0 commentsViews: 5

Merging hiking and running on a conceptual level more adequately represents the motions made while moving over trail.

As I mentioned in ultrabackpacking origins, hiking and running occupy a mutual space yet for many years I refused recognition of this fact. My transition from seeing them as separate was gradual.

Since 2011, I have used Excel to keep an exacting log of the miles I have hiked. At first I recorded trail runs with my hiking milage and separated my neighborhood runs into another spreadsheet.

This dual treatment of running never fully satisfied me.

Why was a run on a wooded mountain trail superior to a run down a sidewalk shaded by trees or over the manicured grass trails of a park?

This dual treatment of running stemmed from a narrow definition of natural spaces.

I was so rapt with the intense beauty available in wilderness areas that I failed to notice the natural beauty present even in the smallest of suburban green spaces. As my knowledge of the natural world grows, I am enthralled by the individual trees I pass running down sidewalks. Every moment of running is a chance for presentness and mindfulness.

Independent of the location or speed of travel, there is opportunity to be present in the calming presence of nature.

Since merging hiking and running on a conceptual level, I have felt greater continuity across my experiences afoot and look forward to seeing these benefits enriched as I continue to expand my awareness and knowledge of the natural world.

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