Finding Strength, happiness and balance in your running
As you may already may know my dear dad is an absolute running addict- he doens’t just run every day, he is also the Editor of Spiridon Magazine (purely dedicated to running). He organises running races around the globe, mainly marathons and ultra-marathons. His passion for running is truly admirable… When Sky Runner popped in my letterbox, it was with great surprise that I could see, even just by flicking through the pages that there are people with the same commitment, dedication and passion as my dad for the same activity.
I hadn’t heard of Emelie Forsberg before (I’m sure my dad has mentioned here plenty of times though)! Before I started to read the book I googled her – and yes we had something in common- we were both pregnant and trying to keep our activity levels up and engage in activities we love. It’s normal for active women to feel out of balance and need an adaptation period during pregnancy. I found it hard to accept the tiredness. Reading more of Emelie’s blog I felt connected to her, so it was time to get my spinach juice ready and read the book.
A passion for running
Emelie is an unstoppable mountain ultrarunner from Sweden. Most days she will be found running with a flower in her hair and every day with a contagious smile. She is a world champion sky runner, ultrarunner and ski mountaineer. Her passion for running started where she grew up at the High Coast of Sweden where nature is wild. The forests are old and playful, with big trees, hanging lichen, and a chaotic ground layer makes it very challenging to find your footing especially if you dare to go outside the trail. Running brought her the freedom to explore further her environment and she quickly learnt that running was an essential part of her being.
As Emelie mentioned in her book, she runs because she wants to run tomorrow as well—not to be as good as possible in a certain race.
All the possibilities
Become the best version of yourself as a runner! Whether you run 3 kilometres or 50, this book will change how you look at your running; it will give you a more profound motivation and meaning in what you do. Sky and trail running are about so much more than just running in the mountains. It’s a whole lifestyle and an attitude to life, running and nature – it’s about the grandeur of both the indefinite and the small and simple. It’s about effortlessness and play. It’s about dedication. While an all too common cliche, a good story often reminds us of the journey rather than the destination, in spite of everything, is what makes us who we are. In our busy lives and trying to accomplish more in less time, it is nice to be reminded that not taking the quickest route will give you far more. Listening to yourself and building both your mental and physical requirements for sustainability in every sense of the word. It’s our choice.
Nurturing an interest
Emelie reflects on the importance of giving in to our curiosity and follow our desires to gain a whole new experience. Do not follow the trail and give in to our desire to discover.
Only those who do something wholeheartedly dare to let go, to leave the well-known and follow their impulses. By doing this we get new perspectives and new experiences and so many more rewards than simply getting to the end.
One foot in front of the other
While Emelie offers excellent training tips, the main takeaway is spontaneity. Rather than be rigidly tied to a fixed schedule, Emelie prefers to self-coach. For her, “The trick is to see your training as something playful, something you want to return not something you have to do.” As someone who has run long-distance trail and snowshoe events, as long as I get in the requisite miles, I to prefer to run by “feel.” And I bet you do too. How many times have you, like Emelie, extended a run just to discover what was at the top of a mountain or where a particular trail led?
Her goal is an attempt to strike a balance between the predictable and the unknown, and more importantly to recognise the necessity of that balance to her life as an athlete and a contented human being.
Not a bad lesson for all of us!
Sky Runner is a sensory delight at the get-go, even my hands took pleasure in roaming the textured cover. Kilian Jornet’s stunning photography is a fitting complement to Emelie’s poetic reflections. As a premier sky runner himself, he truly captures not only the spirit of the mountains but also Emelie’s joy in her journey of self-discovery. The photography really makes this book pleasant to read!