Running on those trails in the sky …..

Happy days. I left some blood, sweat, tears, laughs and smiles out on those trails in the sky around Manaslu (8156m) – the ‘Mountain of Spirit’. Nepal somehow never fails to shake me up, rub the corners off, the winds scour me from the inside, empty me out. And then refill me with the beautiful energy of the sun, of the deep, deep, deep blue skies, of the thin air, and of the ‘awesomeness’ of the mountains. Food for the soul. Which I’ve said before, but it is true.

It was what I needed.

Thanks to all who were a part of our 2012 Manaslu Mountain Trail Race for your company, for sharing some incredible experiences, some special places, and miles and miles of high mountain trails. A huge thanks to Rich for having the vision to create this race and make it a reality. And to Rich, Dhir and all our incredibly hard working Nepali staff for managing us and our logistics to let us make our journey around Manaslu. Without them we wouldn’t have had a race.

Taking things ‘step by step’.  Simple when we are in the mountains. Not so simple to bring back that ‘staying in the moment’ into our everyday, whatever, wherever that is. But the memories become part of who we are, sewn into the fabric of our being. We made a journey that went so far beyond being just a race; a physical challenge, an incredible freedom for the mind, a lightness for the spirit.

Stripped bare. Whoever you are, the mountains will humble you. They will sustain you, break you down until you reach into the core of who you are, and then strengthen you to let you go far beyond where you thought your limits were.

shooting stars scudding across the canopy of the night sky
icy torrents, bubbling hot springs
deeply forested gorge valleys
mountain ridges etched against a sky of deep, deep, deep blue
trails strewn with chortens and stupas
the sweat and honesty of a long, steep ascent
the controlled joyful abandon of a fast descent
Gompas – ancient bastions of Tibetan Buddhism
living, vibrant, welcoming monasteries
changing, clashing cultures
laughing children, smiling faces
precious moments shared in the thin air

The feeling of vunerability and weakness in the face of such immensity of landscape. The realisation of our insignificance. A rawness of emotion. And yet a beautiful power and strength in body, mind and spirit.

Tashi Delek to all and any who might be reading ….

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