The renegade. The buccaneer. Sailor of the seven seas of suffering the local Pirate Trail is the doorway to my trails. It's the main singletrack that leads into the rest of the trails of my area and it's tough. To lead into the rest of the trails you climb up about .3 of a mile and gain about 300 feet. But, the trail keeps on going up for another .4 of a mile to cumulatively equal a 7/10ths of a mile climb with 700 feet of gain, if you go to the top. A tough ascent that sets me up nicely for the rest of my run. Not only does it engage my glutes right off the back of my run, but it also makes me power hike the beginning of the run which allows me to assess how I feel for the day, warm me up, and just get a feel for how the run and subsequent day will go.
But, Pirate Trail is only the port where the Buccaneers of Dirt ship off. Once I pass Pirate I'm lead into a wonderland of suffering where I can get virtually any type of training in. Everything from technical descent or ascent to long, winding downhills to flat and easy.
I feel very privileged to live in such a place that allows for such variety of training, in such a beautiful, temperate, and inspiring place that is Southern California. I live in stereotypes. The coastal So Cal boy who lives by surfers and stoners alike who's able to go up to Hollywood and have a chance to see movie stars or even go to the mountains and suffer on some great trails. It's a central place that has everything I'm interested and more that I'm not, but that I can appreciate.
But, today's post isn't trying to sell you on moving to LA or anything like that. It's more of an examination of what your own Pirate Trail is and what it can mean off the trail.
Sit back and think. What is the trail that you take day in and day out on your journey into the pain cave? What does that trail bring to you? Think of how many countless hours you've spent on it. How much sweat, blood, and maybe even tears you've shared with it. Does this trail teach you?
Well whether you recognize it or not that trail does teach. That trail is the same as the confusion and apprehension you feel at the beginning of a complicated recipe or tough day at work. It's also the same as the productiveness you feel at the end of the day or the enjoyment you feel once you sit down and eat that recipe. I know I'm making another analogy like last week, but trailrunning is by its nature an analogy. It's an analogy for life and for experience.
The trail that begins those perpetually enlightening runs is the simplest analogy for a two fold experience of pain and elation. It's the same path you take on the way to frustration and stress and on the way to reconnection and peace. Because it is the trail, as Pirate is for me, that begins and ends your runs it allows for anticipation and subsequently reflection.
So use that analogy. Know that all these words-apprehension, discomfort, peace, enlightenment, and many more-are all encapsulated in that singular trail that begins that staple of running. Sit back in the fact that on your journey towards enlightened experience, as you strive for that better, you can always take the trail and get ready for the discomfort to come, but trust in the fact that when you come back down that trail you're ready to enjoy whatever is to come.
The Pirate is always there, for me and for you, sometimes fog or storm blocks you from seeing its ship, but if you look close enough and sail far enough you'll find him. You'll find the ying and yang of suffering and peace that he encapsulates. The seas are always rough, but the Pirate is always out there. Go and find him and therefore go and find yourself.
Like I say...remember to always Go Far, Go Further!