“March on. Do not tarry. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path.”  
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
I love this cute & humble finish line!  Despite the fact that I appear to be barely moving, I am, in reality, about to burst a lung here.  It doesn’t seem to matter the distance, the idea always remains the same: KEEP MOVINGMarch on.
When I look around at the people in my life whom I admire most, it is clear they all have one thing in common: hustle.  The ability and self-motivated desire to consistently resist inertia.
I was a bit of a slow learner in this area.  The scrappy tomboyishness of my girlhood seemed to, at some point, morph into shyness, introversion & laziness in my preteen and teenage years.  Behind a book or magazine was where you could find me.
I was raised in a family of athletes, runners & mountaineers.  I can easily recall the distinct ski-wax aroma & creaky wood floors of the original REI & I spent many a weekend sleeping in a tent or in my dad’s red VW pop-up camper.  I learned early on how to snow-seal my hiking boots, how to stuff a stuff-sack properly & how morning hot chocolate tastes so yummy by the campfire.
everything is more fun outside…
Unfortunately, despite my parents’ wonderful examples and abundant opportunities, it wasn’t until my 20s that I independently discovered the joy of moving my body long distances in the outdoors.  Difficult feelings, emotions, experiences — they used to immobilize me; make me feel small & scared & render me speechless.  Through running, I have found a direct path out of that “stuck” place.  Running allows me the space and freedom required to get my momentum back – to get Erin back.  Mud, dirt, biting wind, cold rain, blazing sun, strong mountain gusts — one cannot move through these elements on their own two feet and remain emotionally static.
The enormous value that I now place on physical movement outdoors is the promise that when I finish I will not be the same – whether a 30 minute jog or a 50 mile race.  Knowing that I can count on this subtle positive transformation through such a simple act as running through the woods — this is a gift I can trace directly back to those early hikes & outdoor adventures with my parents.  I may not have appreciated it much then, but I consider myself so very lucky to have uncovered this gift and reclaimed it as my own.
 and now.
Hustle on…!

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