Skip to main content

Runner, runner, what do you see?

[caption width="650" id="attachment_617" align="alignleft"]Running on mountains again after months off from an injury, hitting the summit with the sun. “Good Morning!! #gratitude #squaw” PC: Brandon Dase Brandon Dase's #trailfie captures the joy of running on mountains again after months off from an injury, hitting the summit with the sun. Good Morning! :)! #gratitude #squaw[/caption]Everything around us is light. When our eyelids are open, light passes through the corneal lens and focuses on the retinas' photoreceptive cells. It’s a small miracle that those cells can then translate that light into neural impulses that are interpreted instantaneously by the brain into what we simply call sight. Some vistas almost seem like too much to glance away from, like too much light to absorb and interpret all at once. A newborn child. A hummingbird at a honeysuckle. A panorama of nature overwhelming in its breadth and detail. Still, we eventually have to look away and the vision is gone, but somehow remains imprinted in our brains as memories.

This world of trailrunning has no shortage of pictures online and in magazines: scenery, sweaty and salty runners, and even intricate details of nature. For various reasons, some runners would never carry a camera or take a #trailfie. For others, the camera is running gear. It’s part of the run because the run is part of his or her life, and those delicate brain imprints are not always recalled upon demand as time passes. As long as the medium is reliable, a picture is proof to your future self that you were there.

Recently my son and I joined a small group run/hike up a local mountain ridge. Led by Kendall, up we went, much more hiking than running, through hard-as-rock dirt, shin-bruising-ice-crusted snow, under gnarled cliff-edge-dwelling pine and juniper and mountain mahogany, and over wind-swept viewpoints. Scenes—or light—shone at me from every angle, from the icy expanses of the lake emerging in sunlight down to the tiny gray snake of road slithering up the very cleft of the canyon, to the big mountain sagebrush rooted in a limestone wall.

It wasn’t until one of my friends on the run, Matt Van Horn, later showed us his little video, that I realized something. We all were looking. All the time.


So I asked, and yes, we were all at least partially motivated to climb that mountain in order to see what we would see from that new place. Kendall had drawn the line up the ridge, and wanted to share it with friends. Sometimes I wonder why we look. What are we hoping to find on the run? Is it something we can take home with us to remind us of that one amazing view, that together time with family and friends? That we lived for a while on that trail, on that mountain? Trailrunning with others is more than sharing the sights; it’s sharing a vision with all of its individual interpretations, and as an essay’s prompt is to a release of words and ideas, a picture can open the mind's album of memories and experiences.

Why do some take a camera? Is it to inspire others, express individual art, to increase appreciation for nature, increase gratitude to God, pique interest in botany and zoology and astronomy, improve Photoshop skills, or…something else? Why won’t others take a camera? Is it because of a lack of one or fear of breaking it, reluctance of becoming obnoxious to social media connections, wanting to concentrate solely on the sport (does a purist mix his passions?), lack of photographic skills or photogenic qualities, or…something else? Is there even a right answer?

[caption width="1200" id="attachment_618" align="aligncenter"]One view from a hike with my husband on the Mid Mountain Trail in Park City. One view from a hike with my husband on the Mid Mountain Trail in Park City.[/caption]
[caption width="716" id="attachment_615" align="aligncenter"]Shh, it's Cecret Lake. PC: Bridger Harrison Shh, it's Cecret Lake. I'd take a picture, too. PC: IGer @br1dger[/caption]
[caption width="960" id="attachment_616" align="aligncenter"]Perspectives. PC: IGer @nate.y Perspectives. PC: IGer @nate.y[/caption]


Popular posts from this blog

a new year; a wasatch akitu

“Think now history has many cunning passages, contrived corridors, and issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, guides us by vanities. …The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours.”
another new year startled us today. somewhere between the late night meandering into a warm bed, after the clock already struck a replayed chime marking the change of calendar (for, we can DVR the change of year and play it in every time zone,) and after the morning coffee, sunrise, prayers, or routines—the time has changed, and so have we.
the Wasatch is a flurry, the new recreational pursuits settling into it as the heavy snow settles onto it. it has been a dense year of both snow and increased use of the snow.
although this mountain range sits above a major metropolitan area, it retains pockets of wild refuge still hidden from its’ own mountain refugees. these pockets of frozen time are still filled with change. no man steps into the same Wasatch twice, for it is not the same Wasatch, nor is it the…

that WEIGHTY issue

It's been said to us climbers that what we do is dangerous, and irresponsible. How could we risk our lives like this? And distance trail running, if it compromises our health why do it? How dare we take that time away from our families? And yet, to even make mention about a different lifestyle, one of weight, obesity, and all of the very dangerous and risky components it involves is socially disgraceful, insensitive, and cruel. I bring this up only to show how much weight, in general, is not "ok" to talk about. It's a sensitive subject, even, no, especially, for those of us already at a healthy weight who use our bodies to their fullest daily...

Now, this blog is about running, ain't it? Yep. So while there's a lot of "weight" we could cover in this "weighty" area, we'll just go over one. Running.
Running and weight are intertwined. I'd like to say that this post is primarily for the ladies, because we typically store more weight t…

standhope 60k

it seems like the last few years I've aged, and I've grown. I lost my identity as a runner. if I didn't run frequently, if I wasn't in the mountains, if I wasn't pushing my own limits, what was I? 
I'd retained the identity as a mother, daughter, sibling, friend, student of literature and wilderness. this was a shift - less time, less comments, less messages with the running community that I didn't know well, a deepening of friendships and relationships with those closest to me.
it felt odd, going into standhope. I didn't have goals, I wasn't sure where I was at with running, I wasn't in shape for racing. I had this idealism, that if I raced hard, I could inspire others, not to run, but to pursue life with passion. but, what about when I can't race hard? when life is racing too hard for me to train?
earlier this year my Dad was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma. visits to the hunstman increased, my mileage decreased. when looking at anoth…