RUNNING & TRAVELLING – THE ULTIMATE FREEDOM
There are three things I love in life, that make me feel like me. Running, travel, and creative writing.
And, I’m about to combine all three thanks to the EVOSSI team! I am currently taking time out from my everyday life to travel the world, and wanted to share a few experiences I’ve had with the running and globetrotting combo so far. From how I stay motivated, to the perks of being a runner abroad, and some of my favourite trails over the past few months.
At home, I’m a competitive long distance athlete, travelling far and wide to take part in cross country leagues, half marathons, and marathons. I adore the adrenaline rush that only a race can provide, and the thrill of pushing myself to become the best that I can possibly be. However, I now see that there was an aggressive element that accompanied my dedication to the sport. Yet my desire to win all the time left me blinded.
All this has changed since I hopped on a plane to Australia back in January, and became a true backpacker.
In the past I’ve been lucky enough to take part in international marathons such as the Sierra Leone Marathon with the charity Street Child, and the Nepal Marathon with Impact Marathon Series. Both of which were mind blowing, life changing experiences, which truly celebrated running and it’s power to enforce positive change. My gratitude towards being given these opportunities will never dwindle; but, there is no comparison between these organised events, and the freedom I’ve now gained by combining spontaneous travel and running.
Being a runner out here in Australia has given me the opportunity to explore so many beautiful rural landscapes and soak up the vibe of bustling cities, all from the comfort of my faithful trainers. The skies out here are simply endless, and rising with the sun each morning to soak up the limitless energy of it’s immense power, has become a ritual that I am honored to partake in. I’ve also escaped the agony of public transport in big cities and covered miles with ease. All whilst getting my running fix! It’s a no brainer.
Some of my favourite trails so far have led me around Sydney’s Royal Opera House at 6am (not a tourist in sight!), along the stunning coastal paths that stretch from Bondi to Coogee, and up into the mountains of Hotham with some pretty savage slopes; resulting in my most intense and memorable hill sprint session to date.
Yet, beyond the incredible scenery, what I cherish most of all is the simple fact that I can now use my sport to feed my inquisitive travel bug. I no longer time my kilometers, track my splits, or push myself beyond belief. I honestly could not tell you my average pace per km anymore. Running has become a real activity of leisure for me again, which is something I must admit I had totally lost sight of back home.
Another perk of running whilst travelling is the likeminded people it has allowed me to meet and the opportunities it has opened up. For example, when I was in a tiny ayurvedic cafe in Bondi Junction, I got chatting with a lady named Elaine. Turns out she had been a runner all her life, and she was desperate to take me on one of her most treasured trails. The following morning, we met by the lifeguard station at Tamarama Beach and spent hours jogging the coast together. It was such an honour to run alongside a local, and the connection we made was all down to our shared passion for movement, mindfulness and adventure.
I guess the main question that springs to everyone’s mind is, “how on earth do you stay so motivated to run whilst backpacking Sophie?”. But honestly, for me, it’s not a question of motivation. Running is a part of my soul. It’s a continuous source of empowerment that enables me to practice self-love on a daily basis. Even whilst backpacking, on days when my body is aching, the decision to not go for a run and just unwind with Netflix and yoga instead, brings so much clarity to my mental wellbeing.
That decision to rest is something I struggled greatly with at home, always pursuing my next personal best. Yet, every single day out here is a personal best. Living out of my comfort zone is a beautiful daily challenge. Honestly, this combination of travel and running has taught me so much already in just four months. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this year’s adventures bring, and can only hope that I have helped spark a little wanderlust in you all.
Sophie’s Blog: Healing Happier