Solo yet connected in the mountains

IMG_0836The New York Flyers, the Trailrunners Club in LA, Miss Charlie and K all have something in common. They provide community and connection for the solo runner. While running the mountains is an individual endeavor, I often feel connected. Not only to the air I breathe and the ground my feet touch. Also to the people who begin and end with me, who are there, not always seen but always there.

I’ve never understood people who call running boring. These days I simply say “sorry to hear it” or “maybe another sport could work”. But I still think what I used to say to people: if you’re bored you haven’t looked, listened, smelled, felt. Anyway, my point is that I am loving these structures in which to run: the Flyers running club in New York, the Trailrunners in the Santa Monica Mountains.

K provides that sense of unwavering connectedness as well, during our walk-runs and in the marriage we are about to embark upon. Charlie the Vizsla is a great compagnon, too, when she roams the mountains with me, sniffing and sprinting her way up and down the trails, never losing sight of where I am.

We run alone. Our minds wander. The pain and joy of a 16-mile adventure —like yesterday— is often a solo experience. But I find comfort in knowing that my kind fellow runners, my wife-to-be- and our sweet dog will always be there on the other side.

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