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Episode 112- Pete McBride: Finding the Silence

"It's the silence in between the noise that's important."

-Pete McBride

I have dreams. You have dreams. We have dreams. There is always something in the future that we wish to have in our grasp now and there is always something from the past that we wish we never had in our grasp. Today’s guest, Pete McBride, embodies the life that I dream of living, however he embodies so much more than a selfish goal. Pete is a self taught photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public speaker who uses his skills to uniquely focus on a topic that may seem saturated, but is in fact in dire need of attention: freshwater. 

Recently Pete has turned his attention to his own backyard and to his own river, the Colorado River, while also documenting the state of rivers across the globe. He decided to hike the length of the Grand Canyon (roughly a 700 mile long trek) to increase awareness on the Park’s developmental pressures. This is a noble goal focusing on an area that holds a special place in my heart, which drew me to Pete in the first place. Throughout today’s discussion we cover Pete’s evolution as a storyteller and person, we delve deep into his adventure in the Big Ditch, the beauty of endurance and silence, the importance of water, and, as always, storytelling.

With intent,

Jarod Contreras

More from Pete:

petemcbride.com

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 111- Luis Escobar: Run Gently, Run Simply, Run Free

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Episode 111- Luis Escobar: Run Gently, Run Simply, Run Free

"You're only taking one lap and then that's that, so you might as well have fun."

-Luis Escobar

Surrounding all great stories there is a thick mist of lore. The tale of a 2006 adventure in the Copper Canyons immortalized in the book Born to Run by Christoper McDougall is no exception. Luis Escobar was an integral part of that party that traveled to the Barrancas del Cobre and the story from that undertaking told in Born to Run has shaped my life. However, my excitement and gratitude for Luis making time to chat does not stem from that book. It stems from Luis as an individual.

This is not a conversation only on Born to Run, it is a conversation on and with Luis. It was an honor to run with Luis and friends for 12 miles before we recorded this discussion. That run gave me a more intimate perspective on who Luis is, his passion, honesty, and grit. Today's exchange covers the art, culture, and influence of photography, ultrarunning (specifically Luis's time at the Tahoe 200), Born to Run's affects, the death of Caballo Blanco, Luis's Born to Run ultras, and so much more. So for a fascinatingly unique perspective on what it means to run and live truly, take a listen now!

Gracias,

Jarod Contreras

More from Luis:

allwedoisrun.com

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 110- Who are You Prisoner To?

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Episode 110- Who are You Prisoner To?

Within each of our own lives the buck stops with us. We have the choice between prison and freedom. Whether that choice comes in school, work, family, relationships, or health, we have the choice. Now I do not mean the prison after a trial, I mean the prison that we build when we allow ourselves to be a prisoner to our responsibilities, stressors, annoyances, and qualms. For me, personally, I have recently put a lot of work into solidifying my ability to learn from impermanence, from my difficult living situation, from the people that surround me, and from school. I could easily have let those stressors become my masters. When we are not honest with ourselves, when we are not listening to our breath, and when we are not present we fall easily into the habit of building our prison's walls and allowing the bars to fall. We lay the bricks to encase ourselves and then we question our, seeming, lack of ability to move and breathe. Instead of chaining ourselves to the floor, why don't we realize our ability to choose freedom? Because, we are fearful. So I ask you, who are you prisoner to?

With gratitude,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 109- Dr. T. Colin Campbell: A Revolutionary

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Episode 109- Dr. T. Colin Campbell: A Revolutionary

"The government has been blocking information like this [a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle], it's been controlled. We're all guinea pigs! The dietary guidelines have been framed by the industry and that's disgusting. They don't want radical change like this!"

-Dr. T. Colin Campbell

There are people who affect change and there are people who make change. Dr. T. Colin Campbell has, throughout his storied and lengthy career, revolutionized our perceptions as a society of what it means to care for our bodies. His groundbreaking book, The China Study, showed the world that a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle not only prevents cancer and other disease, but reverses them! From growing up on a dairy farm to number one proponent of eating plants, Dr. Campbell has been shaped by his researche and has shaped the world with it.

However, this show has never been strictly about my guest's stories, it is not an audio biography. I am fascinated by what makes my guests tick, what makes them who they are, and what makes them persevere to be the paradigm breakers that they are. Today I am an honored to delve into that with Dr. Campbell in our discussion on four main things. We converse deeply on the resistance Dr. Campbell faced to his research, the state of our medical and scientific establishment, the control of that establishment by industry and politics, and that this lifestyle (a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle) is possible. This conversation will motivate you to realize that a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle is the wisest choice to honestly better yourself and follow your truest path.

Om shanti,

Jarod Contreras

Further your journey:
nutritionstudies.org
nutritionstudies.org/about/board/dr-t-colin-campbell
plantpurenation.com
forksoverknives.com

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 108- Change Your Perspective

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Episode 108- Change Your Perspective

What's the point? Why do all of it for a seemingly meaningless result? Why? These are questions that have surfaced many a time in our lives. As a college student these are questions that have been asked of me by a multitude of my friends. Friends wishing they could be out in the "real" world, friends who are bored and angered by classes, friends who wish they took a gap year to "grow," and friends who want to drop out. These qualms arise in the biased and insulated life that we lead as college students, but these are qualms and questions, in different forms, that arise in everyone's life.

We wonder what a different life would be like. We hope for it, even. However, today I want to discuss a solution to these issues that is simple in its idea, but difficult in its execution: change your perspective. Whether it is changing your perspective about the situation you live in or changing your perspective about what you are capable of, it is possible. Remember, as well, that the person that you identify as is usually a limiting perspective. You are not just a mom, a dad, a Democrat, a Republican, a vegan, a yogi, a runner, a writer, an employee, a boss, or whatever else your immediate identification and association is. We are varied, layered, and deep, we must recognize that. As such, our ability to adapt is inherent within us. Instead of looking at each situation as a wall in your path, look at it as a challenge, yes, but a challenge that is a teacher. A teacher that will provide you the opportunity to do your best, therefore subsequently learning and growing always.

With Gratitude,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 107- Emotion: More than a Challenge

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Episode 107- Emotion: More than a Challenge

To Coco,

I miss you. Quite simply, Coco, you were a shining light in my life and you were part of my evolution. It has been less than a week since you disappeared and I still can't imagine a life without your meow, your purr, your eyes, and your light. You were a cat like no other and I truly hope that you are sleeping in the sun right now, not in pain or fear. If you are to come back to us, to your family that loves you and keeps you safe, then you will, and so will we, find love, peace, and happiness again. However, if this is your time, and you have stepped out of our lives, then so be it. I will take this emotion and pain as a lesson, as a teacher. I will remember you. I will honor you. I will love you. For Coco you have been, and always will be...our love.

With Love and Memory,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 106- Fall in Love with the Process

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Episode 106- Fall in Love with the Process

As a people we have been inculcated with the wrong ideal that our problems are someone else's fault. Inherent within each moment we have the capacity to acknowledge the fact that in our life the buck stops with us. Placing blame on others is simply faulty excuses and betrays your weakness. Recently I placed blame on others and let my ego control my emotions, which caused me to feel lost. Recently I've seen this happen in a friend of mine, getting overwhelmed by what is impermanent. Recently I employed a tactic to return to peace: I fell in love with the process. Please join me today as we examine the fact that inherent within each moment we have the opportunity to acknowledge that moment's opportunity for growth, to find the beauty, to break down what we will accomplish, and to therefore fall in love with the process.

As Always,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 105- A New Year

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Episode 105- A New Year

Happy New Year! For me, 2017 was a life changing year, there is no two ways about it. Accepting the inevitability of change is a vital part of our personal evolutions. Going into 2017 I knew how much change their would be for me, but I never imagined in how many ways it would come and how positive it would be.

Now, 2018 provides us an opportunity and responsibility to choose between two very simple things: good or bad. I hope that you will choose good. If you do, the good does not come in resolutions or false promises, it comes in a commitment to bettering yourself. Listen in this week as I discuss what it means to choose, in each moment, to be and become the best version of yourself.

Happy New Year,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 104- The Dichotomy of Family

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Episode 104- The Dichotomy of Family

Our journey's are sacred and we must treat them as such. To put in the work, daily, to be the best version of ourselves is a sacred process. One aspect of our personal evolution that we must always remember is that the people around us must be those who further our journey and do not hold us back from it. I can honestly say that my immediate family, my mother, father, and sister, are my best friends, my tribe, and the people who most fulfill me. We come together to support each of our journey's to build something greater than the sum of its parts. I can say that, because I am honest with myself. I can also say, with honesty, that I must let go of the majority of my extended family, because they let ego control them and hold me back from my journey.

On my father's side of the family his siblings have been, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent in my life as aunts or uncles. They are prisoners to their greed and to their past. That chain that they cannot break, because they have not put the work in to do so, chains them from love. I have come to peace with that. My mother's side of the family has been in my life. The truth, however, is that all I can see is the fact that they seem to love food more than me. Their past chains them as well and my aunt exhibits that in a controlling and hateful nature. The fact that they are prisoner to those vices are aspects that I can, and have, worked to let go. One aspect, and realization, that alters my relationship with them is that they have never even tried to understand, accept, or love who I truly am. They are scared of my dichotomy to their lifestyle, because it reflects to them who they are and the life they lead. Their unwillingness and negative influence on my journey is why I must let them go now. So please join me today as we discuss the fact that family is not blood, it is honesty, sacrifice, and true fulfillment.

Om shanti,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 103- Work Ethic

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Episode 103- Work Ethic

To often we are prisoners to the situation. To often we excuse ourselves into laziness. To often we reach for the easy thing. Throughout our lives, inherent within each moment, we have the opportunity for growth. This opportunity is to often passed up, a societal sickness made clear to me throughout my first quarter at college. This paradigm is one that has allowed us to become the worst version of ourselves, when instead we must work to be the best. That mindset of working to better myself through having a strong work ethic in every aspect of my life has not only taken me far, but has also been consistently instilled in me daily by my parents. I have learned to be open to the lessons taught by those around me and the lessons taught by my failures. Today I hope we can all realize the power of putting your heart and soul into each moment.

Gratefully,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 102- 9 Gear Choices of 2017

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Episode 102- 9 Gear Choices of 2017

As the year is close to ending, despite the fact that we may not want to be thinking about a new year, it is important to reflect. Part of my reflection is on what I have used on a day to day basis to facilitate adventure and, even, daily life. Today we are going to applaud the gear that has risen above the rest this year. Gear that allows me to optimally turn idea into reality and move across the land as purely as possible. It is about efficiency, simplicity, and functionality. Before we get started I do want to say three things. (1) This is all gear that I have gotten this year, so not necessarily items that are new this year or released this year. (2) These are my favorites, so this isn't a review with pro's and con's, instead it is simply showing you how incredible these products are. (3) Finally, I am not doing this for any company, I am not being paid, nor are these affiliate links. These are simply products that facilitate awesomeness!

Read about these products: https://www.touchingthetrail.com/reviews/2017/12/13/9-gear-choices-of-2017

Gratefully,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 101- Sawna Guadarrama: Solace Within Each Step

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Episode 101- Sawna Guadarrama: Solace Within Each Step

"I don't want to sugarcoat it."

-Sawna Guadarrama

The sweat rolls down your back, the dust clouds and sticks to your skin, the sun beats down, and you hear the rhythmic flow of your steps. What is running, but an accumulation of beauty? At times painful, at times joyous, usually both simultaneously, running is a trail to our better selves. Sawna Guadarrama understands this deeply and it is one of the many topics that I examine with her today. Today I am graced by her zeal and honesty to explore her story.

How her father's leukemia brought her to running, how a vegan lifestyle fuels her adventures, the dichotomy of city life and the dirtbag life, how she endures when all she wants to do is stop and cry. The mind is a malleable creature and Sawna has learned this over countless miles, but she has also learned that life is so much deeper than only running. It is great food, friends, books, and more. It is a smile. A laugh. We delve into her relationship with her adventure dog Juniper, into the ancient art of storytelling, and how she throws her own spin on that art. She lays her story out for us and I hope that you enjoy!

Gratefully,

Jarod Contreras

Sponsor:
Touching The Trail Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters, strength trainers, and vegans get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/touchingthetrail to support the show and see if you qualify.

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 100- Year of the Soul

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Episode 100- Year of the Soul

"It is not about being good or bad, it is about being."

-Jarod Contreras

To live truthfully to your trail is to truly live. This podcast has been the honest expression of who I am and it has forged me in ways I never imagined possible. Which is why I am brought to tears of gratitude and awe at the fact that we have come together for 100 episodes. Whether you have listened from day one or from last week, you are here and I thank you for that, always. We have built this tribe centered around bettering ourselves. My only hope is that it has shaped you in some way, because I know that it has shaped me. Part of my journey of bettering myself has been my spiritual journey. Today I explore my journey through meditation and spirituality. From resistance to full acceptance. From confusion to a loving understanding of the power of wisdom from the ages and from within.

Forever grateful and to the future,

Jarod Contreras

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 99- Hakim Tafari Pt. 3: This is Compassion

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Episode 99- Hakim Tafari Pt. 3: This is Compassion

"The Buddha asked the sitar player, 'How do you tune your sitar?' The player told him, 'Not to tight and not to loose.' The Buddha said, 'Do the same with your practice.'"

-Hakim Tafari

The final part in my trilogy of conversations with Hakim Tafari is the perfect dovetail to our scope of examinations. There is a certain allure and fascination that we can all have with spirituality and delving within, but what about the other aspects of life? Today Hakim and I explore living the vegan lifestyle, music, compassion, and the interplay amongst all three. These three topics are all individually vital and together they build a beautiful picture of our trails. Please enjoy this conversation on fueling our body as a temple and machine, on the significance of music, and on finding compassion for those that we can easily hate.

Gracias,

Jarod Contreras

instagram.com/hakstao

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 98- Hakim Tafari Pt. 2: Breaking Down the Path

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Episode 98- Hakim Tafari Pt. 2: Breaking Down the Path

"You're putting your mind in an aspect where it is your copilot to make the right moves."

-Hakim Tafari

It begins with the breath. It ends with the breath. We are each fully capable of finding ourselves within ourselves, by doing so we can find peace. In the second installment of my conversation with Hakim Tafari I am honored by his wisdom and shaped by his guidance. Today's conversation clearly displays its inherent simplicity, because we break it down. We break down the path. We dig deep into and examine what it means to find and follow our truest paths, to live purely, to go within, and to breathe into the moment. So take a breath, listen, and learn from Hakim Tafari.

Om shanti shanti shanti,

Jarod Contreras

instagram.com/hakstao

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 97- Hakim Tafari Pt. 1: Metamorphosis

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Episode 97- Hakim Tafari Pt. 1: Metamorphosis

"No man is an island, that is why you have to have the support of the people around you and let the ego go."

-Hakim Tafari

There is not quite anything like meeting someone and instantly connecting with them on a deeply emotional and intellectual level. This happened between Hakim Tafari and I. I did not know much about Hakim going into this interview, but I knew that I wanted him on the show after finding his fascinating Instagram through Noah Levine (who I also want to have on the show). Noah is someone who has deeply shaped both my life and my father's, so I figured that if Noah was friends with Hakim then that would make for a wonderful conversation.

I was not disappointed, because right from the beginning of our conversation I knew that I would be life long friends with Hakim. His insight into what it means to overcome challenges in our lives, how to learn from them, and how to follow your truest path after those challenges is an insight quite unparalleled. He delivers this insight in a relatable and straightforward way, which is what I love. Sadly I was not able to finish the interview with Hakim due to time constraints so this is only Part 1 of our conversation, we will pick back up where we left off soon. Nevertheless this conversation explores black culture and its relationship with spirituality, the vitality of family, admitting fault, and realizing and learning from failure. We discuss Hakim's story and how the many metamorphoses that we undergo throughout our lives, the radical change that might occur, are opportunities for growth and wisdom.

Namaste,

Jarod Contreras

instagram.com/hakstao

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Episode 96- Embracing Dukkha to Grow

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Episode 96- Embracing Dukkha to Grow

"The truth is this: pain, emotion, and failure are your teachers; use peace, presence, and perseverance to best learn from them."

-Jarod Contreras

Our journeys are chock full of new experiences, or at least they should be, and last week I experienced one wholly unfamiliar and strange, yet deeply moving. I gave my first talk. This has been something that I have hoped to do for a long while and thankfully my friends at Cal Poly's Yoga Club gave me the opportunity to do so. To speak in front of an audience, not into a mic or in theater, was quite foreign to me, yet excited me.

Throughout the talk my own insecurities and judgments crept in, but what I realized is that while you can judge yourself, most times the audience has no idea that you made a mistake or went on a tangent. I gave it my all, I poured my heart into it, and afterwards I knew that it was worth it. So many people from the audience came up to me to tell me how eloquently I spoke, how effortless it seemed, how great of a storyteller I was, how important it was for them to hear this at that time in their life, how much it put into perspective certain things for them, and more. My hope is that you will feel, at the very least, some of what my audience felt at my very first talk and I hope that it can help you too, in a small or big way.

Gratefully,
Jarod Contreras

Support Touching the Trail: 
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Find Jarod: 
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Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
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Episode 95- Elena Shifrina: From Russia with Change

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Episode 95- Elena Shifrina: From Russia with Change

"People can copy you, but nobody can think like you."

-Elena Shifrina

Recently I dreamed that I was balancing on top of a skyscraper tall ladder, barely balancing and holding on to the skyscraper next to me, yet not falling to my death. I think this speaks to the fact that over the past month and a half I have had to balance many things, familiar and new. That this has been a grand adventure where I am being tested everyday, but I am learning so much and having a fascinating experience.

I think in our busy lives it is always good to hear a new perspective, to hear about someone else's fascinating experiences. This week's episode provides a new perspective on balance and on culture. Elena Shifrina is Russian which made for a captivating discussion. Elena is a former Russian model, former oil company executive, and now a successful vegan entrepreneur. She founded the first and premier healthy (and vegan) snack bar option in Russia, Bio Food Lab's Bite bars. I took the opportunity today to discuss our dichotomous cultures, why she has been vegan since she was a teenager, entrepreneurship in Russia, and veganism in Russia. We also delve into the vanity and pretentiousness inherent in modeling, the competition inherent in the corporate world, making balance, the importance of family, and more. I hope you enjoy.

Gratefully,
Jarod Contreras

VegNews Article: vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=10215&catId=5

takeabite.ru/en

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Episode 94- Constantin Le Fou: Saying What is True

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Episode 94- Constantin Le Fou: Saying What is True

"We've lost so much of ourselves, we've lost track. In nature, if you are in balance, then nature will give you what you need, we need to be better."

-Constantin Le Fou

At the time of the recording of this episode (early-September) I was in a very different place in life. I recorded this episode with Vegan Club founder Constantin Le Fou a few days before I left for college, fear filled my heart. I did not know what college would be like and I could not imagine leaving my family. My family and I are a tribe, but I had to leave them to go study something I wasn't even excited about. I was lost.

Now more than a month later I am again in a very different place. I have begun the process of changing my major to Journalism, something that I am passionate about. In addition, I have fallen in love with the process and built my own routine of peace and adventure. While there is a dichotomy between now and then, this conversation in the heart of Downtown LA gave me a peaceful respite during those weeks of nerves.

I have seen Constantin's work all around Los Angeles, but never knew who was behind Vegan Club, until now. His ability to utilize famous vegans and influencers to begin a conversation on what it means to be vegan is unique. Through street art, apparel, stickers, and more Constantin's graphic designs have shaped the face of Los Angeles and the world. Today's conversation is about conversation. About what it takes to begin conversations that enact lasting, positive change. We delve deep into Constantin's story, his thoughts on meditation, on art, on creativity, and on how we can shape ourselves and those around us for our betters.

Gratefully,
Jarod Contreras

VegNews Article: vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=10103&catId=5

veganclub.co

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
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Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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Episode 93- Emotion: A Progression

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Episode 93- Emotion: A Progression

The ramblings of thought can sometimes seem interconnected and yet random. Over the past few weeks, beginning my journey here in college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I have had many forms of thoughts and musings. I have thought a lot about my past and a lot about my future, but I have realized that to truly make the most of this adventure I must live in the moment. I have been sad and I have been happy. Inherent in this adventure is an emotional roller coaster of everything from tearfully missing my family to roaringly loving a run. One theme constant throughout this beginning is that I have taken my life, my routine, and my journey into my own hands. I have been and am building a life centered on truth to who I am. We are all on a journey and I am grateful for mine.

Gratefully,
Jarod Contreras

Support Touching the Trail: 
touchingthetrail.com/donate 
targetreleaserecovery.com

Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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