With less than two weeks to go until this running adventure begins, I thought it time that I put something together from the many videos I’d curated during this recent back-to-running journey.
As Kate Bush says it:
“If I could, I’d be running up that hill.”
I am blessed with the chance to explore and run amok in the mountains and hills of North Wales, but in reality this hilly adventure began many years ago when I discovered them quite by accident. Since, they have indeed been a significant part of my strength training. These routes help me to train for my challenge, but they are also doing so much more by helping me to keep focused on the everyday.
- Mindful meditation-on-the-move
- A time to refocus my moral and spiritual compass
- That ticket to a free endorphin-surfing, lung-bursting ride
Mostly, I can be found with a smile stretching from ear-to-ear, inspiration a whirlwind inside my mind, as I use running up and down hills as a form of therapy, always aiming to incorporate some decent level of elevation into the route.
Arita Baaijens, renowned world explorer, spoke of the mountains in her talk at the Women’s Adventure Expo back in November. As she travelled around the Altai Mountains she recounted the stories of the indigenous folk who revered the mountains as sacred. They were the giver of life.
Since then, I have not looked at a hill or a mountain in the same light. If it weren’t for the ups and downs of the hills, we would not be able to build our running strength through the force of nature alone, instead, we would have to turn to machinery. The parallels between life’s journey of the ups and downs — whether of mental illness, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or other — and those of hill strength training, are difficult to miss.
With each new adventure we become stronger.
Running up and down hills is almost a skill, but it’s a skill we develop in childhood, and somehow lose over the years. When we find it again, it’s sheer happiness.
I simply cannot wait to discover the hills of the UK, and iron out some of my own ups and downs. I can still appreciate the undulations.
Please watch the video, it’s an ode to hills. Take from it what you need.