Monday, 29 April 2013

PASSING THE TORCH


There's a short film (just over 4 mins) which I can recommend on my TRAIL RUNNING TV link. It's dated Nov 30. It shows Pablo Vigil and Kilian Jornet running in the Colorado wilderness. There's no product placement or advertising. It's just two men running. One young. One older.

Pablo is much the nearest in age to me. And so I identify with Pablo. And also with what he says. He says running is not about winning this race and that race. It's about 'inspiration'. It's about 'passion'. It's about 'passing the torch to the next generation'. And so it is.

When I first came to live where I now live there was not another runner on the block. Now, 15 years later, there is a runner in every second or third house. When I first ran the trails in the local woods I never saw another runner. But then they started to appear. First two or three. Then more. And now many.

Like Pablo and Kilian I've also run right up to the so-called wild animals and they haven't batted an eyelid; foxes, deer, chamois, and even mountain goats I include. Sometimes I've stood so close to them that I could almost reach out and touch them.

Like Pablo and Killian and their meeting with the elks I have felt no fear. And the animals I have met have felt no fear. It was and is as Pablo says "as if we were brothers". And it really is so. Or it can be if you are lucky. It starts with the right attitude to life and the right way of being a runner.

Currently I'm injured (it's not running related) and cannot run. When I'm injured, which is rarely, I am greatly inspired by films like the one I've just seen and I can't wait to get back on the trails.

The runner's task says Pablo (as I have already mentioned) is to pass the torch to the next generation of runners.

I willingly do that also, but I must add the proviso that when I speak about running I am not speaking about pounding the pavements or the tarmac. I am speaking about running in the fresh air and the wide spaces far away from the factories and the cars.

Take the train or the bus or the bicycle or simply walk. Find a beach or a hill or a forest or a river, or a canal or a lake or any place with an out-of-town trail. And run.

Lace-up and go for it. It's basically what I do. And I recommend it to younger people. It's the best thing you can do with your life. It took me 40 years to discover it. My words can save you much time and trouble. I've now been doing it for more than 25 years. It's life. It's pure life.

And it costs almost nothing. There's no need for any fancy gear. The socks, shorts, anorak, emergency whistle, and t-shirt you already own. So it's a basically a small investment; a pair of trail shoes, €40 should do it, and you're on your way.

Enjoy it.

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