“Going up into those mountains is an interior journey, it's about knowing how far you can push yourself and how you face the fears that we all have.”
Being an elite athlete -- or a world-class artist or musician -- or a ground-breaking scientist, for that matter -- requires passion and dedication. And there's often a fine line between a healthy, productive enthusiasm or even "obsession" for an activity that we love; and, on the other hand, a compulsion or addiction that ends up being mentally, emotionally or physically damaging. When is "too much of a good thing" a good thing -- and when is it simply too much?
If you're already in the habit of walking, sitting, hiking or running through forests or parks with an abundance of trees, you've probably noticed how nourishing the experience is: how spending time in the natural world – immersed in the energy of trees, rivers, mountains and wildflower-filled meadows -- just feels really good. But why exactly is this? How does time away from city streets, in favor of more rural or back-country environments, actually affect our mental-emotional and physical health?
An intensely focused yet spacious mind -- with heightened levels of mindfulness, and deep concentration – can generate extreme feelings of bliss, joy and rapture. The focus required in extreme sports can facilitate access to something similar, which goes far in explaining its appeal.
Now even with all the cross-training possibilities available for a runner, would it occur to you to include opera singing among them? Perhaps not, but as it turns out, the converse is indeed true: a growing number of opera singers are using distance running as a form of cross-training.