Trail running is a lot like life.

Sometimes you’ll run. Sometimes you’ll walk. Sometimes you’ll crawl.

Some segments will be absolutely brutal and others will be truly exhilarating.

You’ll have moments when everything in you wants to cry, or scream, or quit. Times when your feet hurt, your legs are burning, your lungs are on fire, and your heart just isn’t in it. You’ll have moments when you feel you can’t go on.

There will be moments when you feel numb, going through the motions, lost in the harmonious rhythm of your footsteps and breath as the miles pass under your feet.

You’ll have periods that you thoroughly enjoy and periods you simply endure. Moments of overwhelming pride and moments of overwhelming defeat.

You’ll experience times when the ground under you feels solid and supportive and others when it’s rocky, slick, and uncertain.

There’ll be long, steep, seemingly endless uphill climbs and long, steep, dangerously gnarly descents. Both will lead you to breathtaking views and on-top-of-the-world moments where you remember that you can overcome anything.

You’ll feel wildly capable and you’ll feel completely crushed. And your task (should you choose to accept it) isn’t to stop those feelings from coming but rather to carry on with them, through them, with equals parts grit and grace.

With each step and each mile that passes you see the fleeting nature of all things. All segments, all phases, all periods eventually pass and give way to the next. Some are good, some bad, and some very, very ugly. All part of the bigger adventure.

So much of the richness of this journey comes from the contrasting qualities it holds, this dance between polarities.

So much of the growth in this journey comes from facing it all as it comes, trusting that the terrain will ultimately turn in your favor, and persevering until it does.

Each obstacle or struggle in your path is simply one thread in the tapestry you weave throughout your lifetime.

But you take it all in stride. One foot in front of the other. Always forward, my friends.