TRAILS & TRIBULATIONS
The rumour is true … Trail Runner Magazine Edition #2 has snuck out onto the webosphere. You can download all the dirt and drama on the Zine page or right click/save as on the cover right to download the file to your desktop (remember to follow download instructions and view in pdf Reader or Preview, not in a web browser).
And, you’re here now…may as well read the AU Editor’s letter – a little taste…
TRAILS & TRIBULATIONS
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God when they’ve lost all they got and they don’t know what for – Regina Spektor
I’m not religious. But Dan is dead. And I’m certainly not laughing at God. And I certainly wasn’t laughing in the hospital at his bedside, two days before he left us. I’m not laughing at cancer and I don’t know what it’s for.
This edition wasn’t supposed to be the misery edition. Promise. Going into spring I wanted the lightness to shine through, the words and images we present inside a reflection of the glowing wattle flower cover. But a glance over the line-up reads like the blackest shade of pale: cancer, car accidents, fires, death.
But read on. Pretend this edition is an ultra: persevere, push past the pain and you’ll find a spring of sunshine.
I do admit that I cried just prior to writing this editorial. Tears on the keyboard.
I welled up as I read Duncan’s words telling of a journey in life that no father ever wants to take.
Maybe it’s because I share a connection of fatherhood with this man I have never met. Maybe that’s why I now wipe my MacBook with Kleenex – parenthood both makes and breaks a man.
His is one journey that I hope never to embark upon but feel richer for having read it, for there is a radiance of strength in his story of overwhelming sadness. There is bravery. There is life peeled back to a core of indefinable pain that brings forth hope, some of it found on the trail.
What has this to do with trail running?
Nothing and everything.
Trail running is a journey off the predictable bitumen of regimented life. It takes us places that physically hurt– sometimes to places of incandescent pain – and mentally it can take us to tears. Yet we step onto that trail chasing such moments of lowness because we know that they have the power to bring out the best in us; to make us stronger than we were before we reached the nadir.
From the valleys of death we find the power to look up, see the mountain, be challenged by it, be scared by it, but take a step forward up the trail, towards where we can see the sun breaching the summit. And we move despite the pain. Another step. Over another rock. Another tree root. Another rise. Another false summit. And there, there is the pinnacle and the world opens up to a view that not long ago we thought we’d never see, a view that we thought was impossible to reach.
That is the choice we make when we step onto a trail. To just keep the fuck going.
The rest – the experience, the moments of realisation, the moments of self, the moments…that is the trail working its magic.
I was going to write about my ongoing battle with a left leg ITB problem. For the last few months it has filled my world with frustration and even depression. But then I read this edition. It was an easy decision to instead labor some on what was perhaps touched upon in my first editorial. But I take the risk of riposte in the repetition because it matters. Dan matters. Duncan’s son matters. Kate Sanderson and Turia Pitt, the brave women whose lives are changed irrevocably after the Kimberly bushfire tragedy, they matter.
A bloody dodgy ITB does not matter. Running with it glowing red is not even a light scratch compared to the pain others cop on life’s debris-strewn trail.
And so I hit the trail, ITB be damned, in the hope that just as Duncan sees his lost son every time he runs a mountain, maybe I’ll see Dan out there. Hell, I might even see God, whatever that is to a heathen like me.
It’d be a good run if I did. The three of us can all have a good laugh together.
Then the prick can fix my ITB.
No one’s laughing at God
We’re all laughing with God
– Regina Spektor
**Happy trails. Chris Ord, The Ordinary Trail Runner & AU Editor