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The picture to the left is of a good friend, Rob Graham, and me heading out in the morning to complete our two day hike to the summit of Pikes Peak.  This was in 2009 and is the year Rob got me into hiking and ultimately trail running.  Partly because Rob got me back into shape with healthy recreation, and partly because he really is a master hiker in terms of experience, but mostly because Rob goes by various trail names and promotes his personal creed of health and fitness which lends him a spiritual quality – I oftentimes refer to him as my Guide (uppercase “G”).  It’s pretty cool to have a Guide and it costs me nothing.

Two years later, we’re running the Colorado Trail.  There’s of course some walking, but it’s mostly running.  And I can’t think of any hobby I enjoy more.  I fell in love with trail running on the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin over 20 years ago.  There are so many qualities that make trails stand out as exceptional environments for a run or workout.  For me, it’s the surface itself.  I love the focused footfalls that the trail, rocks, hills, cliffs, snow, and creeks require.  It’s almost impossible to day dream about work or fantasize about anything at all.  Maybe some people find this sort of escape doing puzzles or collecting stamps.  For me, the trail – especially when running versus walking – takes complete focus.  And such focus is the quintessential escape.

We’ll be running the 16.6 miles of segment 4 of the Colorado Trail this Saturday.  Snow and or rain is expected.  That’ll add a little something to the experience.  I feel extremely fortunate to be able to run these trails on weekends.  Grateful for my health and lucky to have Karen’s support to take off for the day.  This is shaping up to be an epic summer.