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?
On May 6, 2017 at the Formula One oval in Monza, Italy – in an event sponsored by Nike – three runners completed 17.5 laps of a 1.5-mile circuit. And one of these runners – Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, the 2016 Olympic marathon gold medalist – came teasingly close to the elusive two-hour mark: He crossed the line at 2:00.25 – just 26 seconds shy of the goal, which eclipsed the previous record by more than two minutes.
Every day is Earth Day for an agile minded trail runner with their feet on the ground. The Earth makes us strong, flexible and tough.
A mountain to be climbed, a river to be rafted or a stretch of countryside to be raced on can summon up significance and power for us simply by being designated the field of adventure. Our runs in these dreamlike places bring a quickening of the spirit, a connection with the life force and a concentration of energies that give our experiences out there a heightened quality. They are a way of giving thanks to Mother Earth.
"Many athletes including weekend warriors, spend much of their time getting fit but do not pursue health with the same vigor."