« Trailrunning, travelling alone
Monday 29 January 2024

Everything is beautiful and I feel a drift

January 2023:

 

Let me paint you a picture.

A small stream is meandering down a mountain slope and a little log is a drift in it. It is floating and following the turns and twists. The nature is beautiful, grassy slopes and big boulders. The log hits one of these big boulders and starts to spin around. So now it is spinning and floating aimlessly a drift. Going down with this stream it enters a wooded area with big pine trees covering the slopes. Deer drinking from the stream while under cover by the trees. Other little streams come together, and the log now drifts in a lager body of water. Less boulders to hit and calmer waters.

Everything is beautiful if you take the time to soak in the scenery.Blog: TravelingThe log still drifts downstream in the steadily bigger stream, or maybe we should start calling it a river.
After this woodland it is now entering a valley and there is a settlement on its banks. Kids are playing in the water. Suddenly the log is up in the air a dog found it and brings it ashore. But don’t worry the human throws it back, so far in the stream that the dog leaves it alone. The log carries on.

Everything is beautiful especially when the valley narrows and the river is pushed into a narrow cliff. The speed accelerates and the log is struggling. No longer leisurely drifting along but being sucked down under water. And hitting rocks so hard it splinters. The log begins to disintegrate the force of the water is too much. And then it is no longer ……

Monday 29 January 2024

Autumn

October 2023:

Blog: Traveling

Preparing for winter by slowing down by gathering my life force in me, staying warm gathering with friends.

I want to follow the example of trees, retract liquid and nutrients from the leaves which I will shed. If you look at me I might look barren just a bundle of branches. But if a storm comes, as they do in winter, the wind will pass through the leafless branches and leave me standing!

Internally I will be just fine and sharing my richness underground with fellow trees and other organisms. We have a wide and deep network of roots sometimes bigger than a tree you see above ground. So, what you see is just a part of the whole of me not showing the richness, knowledge build up over years and decennia and era …

 

Monday 29 January 2024

Eb and Flow

August 2023:

 

Ebb and flow. Life is like ebb and flow. There can be a whirlwind of activity followed by calmer days or weeks or month or years. Learning to ride this tide, ebb and flow, is a life skill.

A whirlwind of activity can feel exhilarating and joyful. Leaving you to catch your breath when it slows down. Or do you feel bereft and lost when it slows down? Craving for the excitement. Will you start to seek and work hard to get up in the activity? Not realizing it is life’s ebb and flow.

A whirlwind of activity can also feel frightening, out of control, not knowing how to deal with it. So when it slows down you can catch your breath and reflect that it actually was exhilarating and good. Leaving you eager for the next wave of activity. Now being able to float on this whirlwind of activity and enjoy it. Still happy when you get back into calmer waters.

A whirlwind of activity can be so frightening that you do your best to stop it or evade it. This costs tons of energy. When it slows down, you might think you got it back under control. Until the next wave of activity comes, and you feel like drowning once again.

Blog: Traveling

Monday 29 January 2024

Wandering

 

June 2023:

Blog: Traveling

Wandering around in my newly created world, I lost my bearings. No that’s not quite right, I still have my “North star” to keep me on track in my newly created world.

But the track I am following is really overgrown with plants and eroded away at some places, at some point I just skirted a ravine of depression.

So I am on track, my “North star” is clear and still I am wandering around, stumbling and with a feeling of being lost. Where do I put my feet when the track is difficult to follow? It feels like I am grounding to a halt, a halt that is not good. But a halt also gives me time to look around see where I am, how far I have come. I feel stuck, but no urge to move on.

Do I lean into this moment and take a breath, relax and enjoy? Do I push or nudge myself into action, that does not feel right. So I stay …

 

Monday 29 January 2024

Life’s nudges, gems and miracles

April 2023:

 

Being open for life’s nudges.

Being open for life’s gems.

Being open for life’s miracles.

I thought I was, but there was still un underground train of thought urging me on to organize my life.

Now that this stream has come to light I have been able to dam it and it is evaporating and seeping into the ground.

The train of thoughts have come to a standstill and is being dismantled as we speak.

Meaning my grounding can go deeper since the underground stream of thoughts is being derailed.

Being present and deeply grounded is a happy place.

There is room to observe life and more awareness of what it is offering me. The nudges, gems and miracles.

 

Blog: Traveling

Monday 29 January 2024

Dancing between worlds

February 2023:

 

How do you dance between worlds …

How do you dance …

Between what worlds … might be questions that come up.

My dance between worlds is my dance between “my reality” and the “reality of the horse”.

Yes, I am an equine bodyworker, among other things.

My world is the human world and in that my mind and thinking are often very dominant. They like to be the creators of “my reality”. A horse on the other hand lives in the present moment and has a totally different “reality”.

So I dance between worlds, between different realities to connect with a horse.

Quieting my mind and letting go of my thinking. Not that there is no thinking, more that I stop paying attention to my thoughts. So I become still, quiet and finally be present in the moment. Only then can I truly connect with the horse, or any other animal for that matter.

From there my dance consists of being open and follow, fall in step with the horse. Feel his breath, his heart beat and his energy.

My dance between worlds is not really visible. Like I just stand there and do nothing. But doing nothing can be a rich dance, a beautiful connection.

Dancing between worlds, between different realities is a gift to cherish and I am grateful to have horses as my dancing partners.

Blog: Traveling

 

 

Monday 29 January 2024

I write because…

January 2023:

 

I write because…

I write because it is new and adventurous. I write because I love to share.

I write because I love to educate. I write because I love to tell a story.

Because, because,  because … no words. So to write I need words.

My inner voice needs to speak up so I can hear the words I want to write. It feels like a carousel going round and round. Listening, hearing a voice that needs to be heard so I can write the words my hart gives me.

I write because it is a way of self discovery. Writing about the outer world and writing about the inner world. So when I wrote about a log adrift in a stream. It looked like the outer world but maybe it was a metaphor fort the inner world.

I write and I can address so much but is new territory for me.

I write but take baby steps.

I write because I want to share my story and I want to share ME.

I write because others might like it – NO  might be touched by it – YES.

I write because I would love to touch others with my stories.

I write because I love to guide and to coach.

So, if I write, people get to know me.

I write to be able to help people.

From physically touching and working with people, I will be able to touch and work with them through words – written or spoken.

Blog: Traveling

 

Monday 29 January 2024

Not alone anymore

January 2023: My first 10 min on the poem “How are we not alone”

 

Not alone, not anymore, making friends, seeking friends, not alone anymore.
New country, new customs, new people, new habits, new me.
Transforming, not being alone anymore, being with friends, knowing friends, going places.
Not alone anymore, going online, reaching people, coaching people, talking to people.
Not alone anymore, searching, first in the outer world and now in the inner world.
Going places, virtual, factual, practical.
Not alone anymore, how did that happen?
When did that happen. Loving my new life, loving me, loving connecting.
Not alone anymore. Magical mystery, going deep to come up high.
Where am I going so not alone anymore?

I go alone but do not stay alone. Going places, meeting people. First horsey people then tree people now coachable people.
Not alone anymore, how did this happen? Why am writing. I did the talking, not alone anymore.
Still learning the talking, so magical, so mystical, not alone anymore.
No idea where I am going. Now I am talking more, now I am not alone anymore, now writing to support my talking, since having friends talking helps.
Not alone anymore, talking more and now writing, how did this happen?
Searching has become listening, listening deeply to myself. Listening deeply to others. Listening, not alone anymore.
Who would have thought I could change that much? Not alone anymore, not hanging on a cliffs edge, not drowning in a sea of despair.
Not alone anymore, making friends. Listening is no problem, I have been listening my whole life. But speaking now that is new. Speaking lengthy and free, free associations. And now this Writing wild. What am I thinking, but no, not much thinking going on here. Or maybe very fast thinking, but no filtering. Writing wild writing from the hart. Just how I would like to speak, just straight from the hart.

Not alone anymore and the whole world at my feet.

Blog: Traveling

Thursday 2 January 2020

New years day: Race over the Glens

Best way to start the new year: Run the Glens in Glanariff Forest Park. A 6 mile trail in for me chalanging terrain (217 elevation meters). Best weather you can wish for and with totaly no expectation other then to really enjoy a day in the glens.

Big surprise that I run around comfortably for the first 4-5 miles even speeding up on long slopes down! Then the most beautifull waterfalls and loads of stairs, wich I had to walk but it was stunning. Could even manage a run over the finish line.

Big thanks to the dedicated coaches of the Ward Park Runners. Because I had to relearn running. Running on slopes and hills all the time. Running on hard surfaces all the time. I struggled for month. This summer set an amazing time on Mt Stewart. But to finish here with 217 elevation meters: 6 mi in 1:19 minutes is totally unexpected.

 

           

Thursday 19 December 2019

Just running

Ok, I had to tone down a bit. I was planning to go to do all these beautiful forest trails this winter al over Northern Ireland! I entered myself to the first two. But reality let me know I needed to tone it down a bit. I was stressing myself out pushing to longer distances and trails far away. I am a confident driver but driving on the left in a English car on these roads still takes a lot of concentration. So driving to far away trails is taxing, running them also but in a nice way! But then driving also back felt all a bit too much.

So, abended that plan. New plan: no competitions or trails for this winter, just running for the joy I get out of it. No surprise that after that decision I ran my easiest 6k ever! Pressure gone, and running just for running. Only when I feel like it and I can change my plans any time.

For some variation I did a nice 15k coastal path, walking, challenging since it was a bit icy all the way.

My training sessions with the Ward Park Runners go better and easier all the time so I know I am making improvement.

 

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Mount Stewart, run the trails

Finally I dared to subscribe for a trail since I moved to North Ireland. Last year I started trail running and did 3 trails in Holland.

After 4 month of getting used to this very new and for me challenging land for running I planned a trail. Around mount Steward is a beautiful forest in which I had walked. Most races here are on the road and I just want to be in nature and enjoy myself. So I selected Mt Steward, run the trails of 10 k. Still some road and a lot of very rocky paths and of course some hills!

For me this was going to be test. First of all if I could complete the whole 10 k. Secondly how far away I was time-wise from my trails in Holland. Lastly, could I stick to my “barefoot” running technique?

After an afternoon filled with rain it cleared up in the evening. Some 500 runners gathered for a 10 k and a half marathon. Of we went, I positioned myself at the back of the pack. First some bits of

road slowly climbing on long hills. I had switched on my metronome on 180 to keep me centred. Most of the first half turned out to be a mind game! Going uphill – no pushing just hang back, small steps, just lift my leg, no pushing. When I pass someone I need to remind myself to stay quiet in my pace. When

I am passed I need to remind myself not to tag along going to fast. Because going downhill is the toughest for my body I take does bits to relax into, going slow. 1k mark in 10 min = nice. 2k mark in 10 min = nice. 3k mark in 10 min = nice. 4k mark in 10 min = great. 5k mark in 8 min = wow. 6k mark, where is the promised water point – my rest point? There, at 6,2k water and rest, for I have done great! From here some really rough stony path show up and some more shorter hills, my feet are complaining so I take it easy and do some walking. But keep on running because it looks like my time will be really good. Somewhere I have accidently switches of my Strava, what a pity! But this is a chipped run!

I finish this 10 k in 1:21 min.! Faster than ever and not really tired. The following days no real stiffness. I kept to my barefoot running skills and this combined with the trainings with the Ward Park Runners here in Bangor set me up for this fantastic trail!

Saturday 27 July 2019

Experimenting

Running in the summer in my trail running shoes gave me sweaty feet and I do not like sweaty feet. So I bought some sandals to run in: Xero Amuri Cloud to be precise.


So I took them for a test run to Groomsport over a small rocky track and back over the road. Starting out really carefully and slow, will they stay on, are they to tight, will I trip, lots of thoughts turning around in my mind. Quietly I become more confident and it felt so liberating and free.
Coming to a beach I took them of and walked just enjoying the lovely weather and all the people on the beach having a day out. After the beach I cleaned the sand of my feet and put them back on. Here a small track started and I felt more confident, just throwing my feet down relaxing into to ground. I had to get used to the load noise I was making, but it was a good way to announce my arrival to others 😉
The small track really got rocky and here and there I even needed my hand scrambling up or down. But the sandals were great – as if they were not even there! I loved every minute of it and went further along this track right into the marina of Groomsport! I had never been this far which say a lot about my new foot wear. Here I turned back and stayed along the road back into Bangor.

Saturday 27 July 2019

Over enthousiastic

Ok, I have to admit I was a bit over the top, being super enthusiastic about how everything was going. Because running every day and then doing swimming in the sea as well was a bit too much. A week later I was totally drained and had to rest up.

Some basics, like the real training of the muscles takes place on the two rest days afterwards ….. Or that the swimming might feel totally easy but my muscles told me at night that “a lot of them had had a serious workout”!

So I did a week of resting as in no running or swimming! The following Saturday there was a 650 swim “Pickie to Pier” for the yearly vintage seaside revival festival. And guess what I did it in 18 minutes 😉 which is really good considering I had never before swam such a distance let alone in the sea with big waves! Next Monday we did the same interval training as the Monday before and this time I did great and got me some Strava awards!

Now I will be back on running 3 times a week: Monday the WPR training, a small run and a long run. Although I love the swimming I will keep that on once a week for now. See how this goes. You will read about it next time.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Getting there …

At last I can say that I have landed here in Bangor, North Ireland. Because last week I sort of upped the training. I went for a run or a swim every day and totally loved it!
The swimming here is in the sea and is the best thing I ever did, still getting used to the waves. It is a nice change if I think my running needs a break. Or just go swimming in the morning and running in the evening because I could.

To get back to my running. Now I have been training with the Ward park runners (WPR). I still have to hold back a little. Like when they plan a long hills session for 30 minutes … I did really well but stopped after 20 min. I mean even they say it is a hard training so who am I, from Holland, to think too lightly about it.

The good news is that in the day’s after a training like that I hardly feel it, instead of the one week being crippled the first time I joined. So this week I will probably go for both the Monday and Wednesday trainings. Why? Because I am contemplating doing a 10 k on a mountain ….. Last year in Holland I did a couple of 10 k trail runs, nice and easy on my minimalistic shoes, then it took me 1,5 hours with the walking here and there. I would like to see how I will do over here …

So lots of training ahead and the luxury to have lots of time for it.

Friday 7 June 2019

Northern Ireland – Bangor

It has been a quest how to get comfortable running in this new enviroment. Coming from Holland I am used to completely flat terrain to start with, here nothing is flat. Even when locals tell me a track will be flat, for me it is defenitly not! I was also used to running on the tracks of the forest that I found everywhere I lived. Here in Bangor most of the path are of concreet, the coastal path and all path in the parks.

Running on minimalistic shoes (Vibram) my feet struggled with the concreet. Now I only run on my minalistic trailrunning shoes (Vibram V-trail) who, with the added profile, give my feet just that little extra comfort.
My feet were not the only ones complaining. My hips, the joints, also had theire problems. Since there was no flat, the going up and most importantly the going downhill took some getting used to.

It took me two month of taking it really slow to get comfotable running around here. To further improof I joined a running crew here in Bangor for weekly trainings and challanges.

For now running along the coast still gives me a feeling to be on a holliday …

Monday 8 April 2019

A new start in 2019 … in Northern Ireland

I had a few hectic months! I packed up my whole life in the Netherlands and moved to Bangor in Northern Ireland. A stressful and busy time, but on the 30th of March I arrived in Bangor.

And of course I started to explore the outdoors of this coastal place. Everything goes either up or down, something quite new to me. And going barefoot will be a challenge, with all concrete path in the parks and rocky grounds if you go to a forest.
I have started with short runs around Bangor to see how my legs would hold up, but they are doing great.

Next Wednesday my “stuff” will arrive from the Netherlands with my trail running shoes. I cannot wait to seriously start running here.

Wednesday 9 January 2019

A good start of 2019

Today I had the whole day free and no appointments scheduled a luxury that I do not often have, but what a feeling of freedom does that give already. Outside the weather is quiet a bit of a gray winter day with 5 degrees. So a lot of time and I am really looking foreward to a run from Den Dolder to home.

As usual, I am a little too warm dressed, but when I am waiting on the platform for the train that scarf is really nice. I have my racing vest with me and this time some water and later on my scarf can go in there. Keys, telephone, public transport card and some money are also practical to store and I am very happy with this gift to myself ;-).

In Den Dolder I start my Strava and Endomondo apps before I start my run. I run easy and I hardly have to pay attention to where I put my feet down. The route is well known but now the miles slide so easily past! According to the apps, I set my personal record with 5 km in 36 minutes, how cool is that. The pace of 7:11 is also new!

Really a super start of the new year! This year I want to try to free up more time for running. If it works 3 times a week. Doing nice trail runs and searching for joint training sessions.

 

Monday 19 November 2018

Starting up again

I went to see a good sports physiotherapist a few days ago. Found out she does trailrunning too and she used to ride horses. So she knew exactly what I’m working on which was very nice. She gave me her approval to start up again at an easy pace. YES!

Today I went to the Kaapse bossen at Doorn and I’ve made a lovely long hike with my Vibram V-trails. It’s very beautiful there and I really needed some quality time in nature – which I absolutely got.

During my more than two hour walk I’ve slowly dribbled a few times and that felt really good. What a pleasure to be back on track.

I haven’t felt any reactions when I was back home.

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