Lessons Learned While Trail Running

I had an epiphany while doing my trail run yesterday that some of the lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) this winter while exploring the many trails of Vancouver’s North Shore can also be applied to my professional life.

1) Take no step for granted – the moment you start assuming, the trail will remind you to stay fully present

2) Accept an unknown higher purpose – small barriers on your path may be there to assist you – when the trail gets snowy or icy, those small stones, sticks and tree roots provide much needed footing

3) Be prepared for sudden changes – the path you’re following may contain an obstacle that you need to move around quickly for safer footing

4) Yield – allow others to go around you if they’re faster, or step aside if it’s narrow and someone coming from the other direction wants to cross first

5) Read the signs – if it says ‘icy conditions’, know that this message is there for your highest good

6) Ask – if you’re unsure where the trail you’re on is leading, ask those you encounter for help rather than just blindly running on

7) Come prepared – if it’s cold, dress for it, if you’re going to be doing a long one, bring water or food

8 ) Follow your intuition – changing course, exploring a new path, turning back when your “Spidey Senses” start tingling are all allowed if it feels right at the time.

9) Focus – the most important step is this one right now.

10) Give thanks – when it’s icy, for every stick, bit of sand or pebble that provides you with safe footing, for every bridge that has been built for you, for every sign that has been placed to guide you.

11) Clean your shoes – if you step in poop, don’t assume it will work its way off of your shoe, clean it right away or it will haunt you.

12) Realize – the uphills are necessary to give you the pleasure of the downhills.

13) No short cuts – taking what seems to be an easier way can compromise the integrity of the trail for others, can be dangerous or can loosen rocks that might hurt someone below you.

14) No unsolicited advice – no one likes a ‘know it all’. Give answers when asked but otherwise, zip it.

15) Stop every now and then and just go “WOW”! – this is just self-explanatory

photo credit: lululemonathletica

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