WE ARE TRAILFLOW
Running is a simple sport. No gear is needed, no teammates, no helmets or pads. All that is necessary is a pair of legs and a little bit of desire- shoes aren’t even required. People run for different reasons, to lose extra weight before a wedding, setting a new PR in a 5k, just to put some miles on the $120 running shoes that haven’t been worn- every one of those reasons is worth something. Most likely, if you are running you are better because of that alone. That being said, those reasons are not the reasons why we run.
Running is a huge part of our lives; it consumes us on a daily basis. All the day-to-day redundancies can be coped with as long as we have spent our time in communion with the trail. We run a lot. Often times people ask us what it is exactly we are running from. That isn’t what we are doing at all; we aren’t running from anything, we are running in pursuit of something- we are chasing flow.
Google Search for flow yields- “The action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream.” That, by definition, is probably correct, but it is still missing a lot of meaning. Defining flow that quickly is like saying, “Michael Jordan played basketball.” That’s true, but damn, a little more detail would be nice. Flow is a hard concept to describe, everyone feels/experiences flow differently. Artists, musicians, and athletes all know the feeling they get when every stroke, note or movement is fluid. It is often called being “in the zone”, a time when one can do no wrong. It is the pinnacle of any creative process, the moment when the most beauty is displayed.
Trail running is where flow is most readily available in our lives. There is something indescribably beautiful about a man moving across a mountain powered by only his body and will. A closeness to all that is around him, an experience that is impossible to find with a roaring engine between your legs or headphones in your ears. For us, it is a spiritual experience- we are able connect more fully with ourselves through the experience of being part nature. A feeling of oneness with every detail surrounding us, an innate sense of belonging- the right place, at the right time, putting forth the right effort.
Flow has become so ingrained in our lives that it has developed a sort of personality. We, of course, picture a beautiful woman floating along trails waiting to bestow her gifts upon us. Flow has become an addiction, when the scent of her hair is on the wind nothing stops us from hitting the trails. Flow is fickle. She decides to show up when least expected. The brutal hill climb that kills every time, at mile 78 after bonking and there is nothing in the tank- that’s when flow decides to grace us with her presence. As frustrating as the pursuit is, it makes Flow that much better. That effort- going on to the next aid before calling it quits, taking the trail that is known to have 1500 feet of vert waiting up there instead of the flat section or biting the bullet during speed work. All of that combined is what makes Flow so desirable, so attractive- she is hard to get. It’s similar to dating, nobody wants to hook up with the girl (or guy, Trailflow sees you ladies) who is texting/calling every 10 minutes. It’s all about the chase, the excitement of the unknown is what makes all the effort worthwhile.
Yvon Chouinard once said- “ The point of climbing something like Everest is to have some sort of spiritual or physical change. If you compromise the process you by having Sherpas make your bed, set up your tent and cook you dinner you’re an asshole. You are and asshole when you start and when you get back.’’ This goes back to the simplicity of running, the action of placing one foot in front of the other- a very primal and natural motion that even young children know instinctually. By complicating running with gear or excessive footwear, the process is compromised. The goal of becoming one with nature, just a man and a mountain, is that much harder to achieve.
It is impossible to truly love something without inherently identifying with that thing. We identify with the trail, we no longer just want to use the trails for our own personal pleasure, we want to give back to the trail, to the community that it creates.
We are Trailflow.