I recently attended an evening presentation at Edinburgh’s ‘Run and Become’ store, where trail runner and mountaineer Colin Meek shared with us his adventurous attempt at running Scotland’s Watershed, 650 miles in 30 days! The event and presentation itself was fantastic but the main thing I took away from that evening was this – Colin mentioned “rhythm” when running and being in a constant, steady “flow” when out on these long and arduous trails. Something I thought was quite apt, and rang true to myself, with the psychological and spiritual way I feel when running. Some of the attendees, that evening, thought that Colin was referring to a ‘timed’ rhythm, something that was perhaps connected to his HRM watch, checking speed, pace, miles per minute. But refreshingly, he had declined this suggestion and went on to explain the feelings he had out on the hills and that there was more to his ‘rhythm’ than simply pace and competitiveness.
A breakdown and brief explanation of the history of the word “Rhythm” was shown to us and this was where I felt a eureka moment hit me, as I instantly understood and connected with this derivative.
First coined 1557, from Latin rhythmus, from Ancient Greek ῥυθμός (rhythmos, “any measured flow or movement, symmetry, rhythm”), from ῥέω (rhèō, “I flow, run, stream, gush”).
– “I flow, run, stream” Quite an apt quotation, from someone running the Scotland’s ‘watershed’. 🙂
I’ve always felt ‘connected’ to the trails and barefoot running has only brought me closer to this relationship that I have with the great outdoors and mother nature. I remember hearing Michael Sandler (Barefoot Running – The Movie) say that barefoot running, offers this unique “earth connection”, where all living beings need to relate to life in a positive and healthier way of life. Two words that we all understand through “electronics” from our physics classes in school but there’s something in this that perhaps we need to reevaluate, where our own minds, bodies and souls need this ‘connection’ as well.
Having developed further into my ultra running distances, I have felt that I’ve become more in-tune with my environment and where I see myself within it. There are moments or emotions of ‘release’ and dare I say it ‘tranquility’ when I’m out running. I’m not sure of this is a simple chemical release of endorphins but there are these moments when I find myself ‘drifting’ and ‘flowing’ along, sometimes I’d go as far as to say I was in meditative state of mind – barefoot and running ‘free’, just as I did, all those many, many years ago, as a wee lad running over the Scottish Border hills 😉
Quite a significant evening, I’d say, where someone else has been able to highlight this higher state of consciousness, when out on the trails and how significant it can be to our health and well being.