“Natural Running” and Challenges – Taylor

Taylor has a unique perspective on why he runs and what keeps him moving forward. The full story below.

Why are you running?

I’m running because it feels natural; I assume because it is close to what many other animals do, out of fear, hunger, play, and so on. These animal instincts allow me to be fully present in the moment. I run to experience life in its basic elements. I find running on trails, up mountains, through forests, jumping streams to be the purest form of existence. The purpose of an animal’s run is survival in the case of hunger and fear, while play’s purpose is fun. I doubt animals ponder their purpose in life like people incessantly do; but on my runs I find myself searching for meaning and purpose, regaining my natural survival instinct, and enjoying simple play. Running gives me a sense of wonder, an understanding of the insignificance of my life, and amazement in the extreme stroke of luck that I find myself here on planet earth. I run because I find extreme joy in the wonder and instinctual drives it releases within me. “Ideally I’d like to be a bird, but running is a close second.” – Bernd Heinrich That is about as succinct as I can put it.

What keeps you moving when things get tough?

It seems like some of the happiest people have the toughest lives. I think there is something to hardship that accentuates appreciation of little things and good times. Compared with the countless generations before me and the unfortunate circumstances millions of people find themselves in, I, and most of the people I know have had a pretty easy life. With that said, I approach tough times on the trail as a matter of fact, or just the way things are. I feel very privileged to be in a position where I get to choose what “tough” ordeals I go through. I think tough times give you a glimpse of where your limitations lie, and an opportunity for growth toward creating new limitations. I don’t always push through tough times, especially in training, as sometimes it is a sign that you need to allow your body to recover. However, in race situations or when survival requires pushing through I think you learn more about yourself and gain a greater appreciation in life itself. So to answer the question, the reward of moving forward during tough times seems better than the alternative in the long run.

**Bonus Question — If someone wanted to apply what they learn through running to life or business, what advice would you give them?

I think that consistency and hard work eventually pay off in running, life, or business. Success or a sense of achievement doesn’t happen overnight. But it’s important not to let the end goal entirely dictate the journey. Enjoyment should be an important motivator for someone’s goals in life or business. That doesn’t mean it is supposed to be easy or fun all the time, but the cost of a goal should be measured against the benefit it brings. Like I said above, tough times tend to make us more appreciative of what we have got and where we have come from if we are doing things for the right reason.

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