Monday, September 5, 2011

Trail Zen

The last 5 days I have been semi unplugged in Stinson Beach, CA with my lovely wife, our two fuzzy kids, a case of IPA and four books, assorted newspapers and magazines. 

 I say "semi" unplugged as internet access was sparse and cell phone access non-existant. 

The cell phone companies probably don't pay much attention to Stinson.   Not a financially viable market 48 weeks out the year.  The  population when not flooded with people fleeing San Francisco for a holiday weekend is allegedly 468 people.

Semi unplugged on occasion is a great idea.

I am a pretty simple guy.  The lovely wife, furry kids, a cold IPA and ample reading material is always good enough for me.  However, the absolute icing on the cake/best part of the four days were numerous hours and miles up on Mount Tamalpais

I could make up a bunch of bullpoop about thinking heavy thoughts up in the silence of Muir Woods.  Saving the world, being a better whateverleaderhusbandathletecitizen, appreciating nature etc. etc.  I could probably get away with writing something like that.

The actual truth is that when running on a difficult trail like the DipSea Trail or the Steep Ravine Trail one's mind is totally focused on the task at hand.   My mind is a total void as soon as my foot hits the first steps of the trail.

No work.
No family stress.
No world economy.
No worries.


Low Hanging Trees.

Unlike what I deal with as a city human, one small lapse of focus on a run through mountain woods can be costly.  Face planting on a trail at best is embarassing.   (If no one sees you face plant, it did not really happen!)  At worst, it could be a final face plant into a ravine 400 feet below.  On the DipSea and other trails I ran this weekend there were ample opportunities for the 400 foot face plant!

Being deep in a woods where you cannot even get a GPS fix let alone cell phone coverage serves to simultaneously liberate you from technology as well as remind you how awesome it is. 

If you have not run on a tough trail in a while or ever, give it a shot.  I 100% guarantee it will be the most focused and relaxed you can be at the same time!

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