By Greta Hyland
I dream of running, not figuratively but literally. In my dreams it is effortless, exhilarating. When I wake from these dreams I feel pumped and want to jump out of bed and run—there have been times at night when I have.
For a while, running was a nightmare. I got tired. My legs felt like they were filled with sand. My lungs burned, everything hurt and I was miserable. I hated running.
Then, one day it happened. I ran and it was exactly like my dreams.
I didn’t set out to run. I didn’t finally make up my mind to be a runner—starting small and then working my way to further and further distances. I sought solitude. I would go out on a trail and walk. I would walk at a fast pace and get lost in my thoughts.
Over time, walking wasn’t enough. I had to run. And when I did, it didn’t hurt. I wasn’t out of breath and my muscles didn’t stiffen up. I felt light, weightless, like I was flying. It was as though the distinction between me and the land disappeared. I was the trail. I was the scent of pinyon pine and sage. I became the mountain.
Trail running has changed my life. It has literally made my dreams come true.
Greta Hyland is a writer, runner, lover of nature and beer drinker from the American Southwest.