Life in a Trail Run
I am sure we have all heard the term Trail Blazers. I prefer the term Trail Runner. We are all on a trail. We may be following the person in front of us, but we have people who are following behind us as well. We also have the choice to get off the trail and create our own whenever we want.
I recently went on a short camping trip with my family to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. It was beautiful country with many hiking trails. The trails had waterfalls, boulders, mountains, and creeks.
On one of the days, I went trail running as one of my workouts for the Ironman Boulder. It was a 4.5-mile trail called the Seven Hollows Trail.
The trail had a natural bridge, turtle rocks, and a grotto. It also had just under 600 feet of climbing over a 2-mile section. In case you are wondering, that is a lot of climbing in a short distance. It was a beautiful trail, but it had many obstacles.
I tell you this because as I was running the trail it made me think about life and our leadership abilities. During our life, whether personally or professionally, we face obstacles on a daily basis. There are many ways to attack the obstacles.
For example, I would come upon a creek, and I could either run through the water or find a path of stones and sticks to jump on to keep my feet dry. Needless to say, I kept my feet dry. Either method would work, one just left you with another obstacle to face, wet feet!
Another obstacle I would face was a muddy path. I could run through the mud or create my own path around it. Sometimes when making decisions we like to follow what other people are doing. This makes sense sometimes if the outcome is good, but if we know the outcome would not be our desired result then why burn the same trail. Create your own trail. You already know that if you stay on the current trail you will get all muddy and wet. However, if you create your own path you may stay dry and discover new experiences. The path may be slightly longer but the outcome is better.
I also faced some climbing to get out of the hollow and back to the beginning. As I climbed, I slowed to a pace I could maintain comfortably. I did this to improve my chances of making it to the top without stopping. Many times thoughts came to me saying stop and rest for a minute. I said, no way, I am going to reach the top. Stopping would only make it harder to keep going. I would get too comfortable. You see, as we are climbing to the top, it will sometimes be uncomfortable. If we go too fast, we will tire out and quit. If we go too slowly, we will become too comfortable with our situation and not push forward. As you climb, it is okay to be uncomfortable. When we make it to the top, we do not want to be so tired that we cannot keep going and have to stop. We want to be able to continue moving forward.
In a little less than 50 minutes of trail running, I discovered a lot about myself. I hope these analogies help you to discover some things about yourself. We do not all technically have to be running on a trail to face these obstacles! However, when you do just know that any decision you make is a good decision. Not making any decision and constantly doubting yourself is nothing more than a dream killer. Be bold, courageous, climb, and move forward. Pave your own trail using the path and experiences of others.