This week’s Monday Morning Motivation is pondering the roads and trails that made you who you are. Where did your running start? Which locations are indelibly etched in your memories when you think of running? Above all, what’s your running home?
No runner was made in a day. Each of us has an origin story, followed by hundreds of miles run alone and with teammates near our childhood home that hardwired moments into memories: the stretch of space and time between two painted fence posts; the hellish, angled slope of grass where normal people sat and read books; the conversations with adolescent teammates that covered everything and nothing.
No matter where life takes us, those moments come with us.
Lea Wallace: Running makes me feel alive. It’s a reminder of everything that I have to be thankful for in this life. I really cherish my family in Napa. When people ask me who I am or where I’m from, or who my parents were, I just always tell them I was raised by the village because I have so many people in my life that are like parents to me.
Taylor Gilland: I started running when I was like 8 or 9. We had this network of trails behind my house. It was always kind of a game to figure out how they all fit together. My parents, they both run on those trails every day, my sister runs on those trails every day, my brother will go and run on those trails. We’d always talk about how ‘I found a new trail’ and ‘this connects to this trail’ and try and map it out in our heads.
Lea Wallace: My first run that I ever went on was with my next door neighbour, Russ. I just ran out of the door, turned left down Gordon Drive, then I’d turn right on Dale and then run through those neighbourhoods there. And then when you finally got to the end of the road, it starts to become more scenic and it’s just beautiful. There are trees and vineyards.
Taylor Gilland: Every single time I’ve been back, I go for a run on these trails. That’s the piece of running at home that I always kind of associate with all of these kinds of memories. The kids that I grew up with, we all kind of ran high school cross country together. And won the state championship our sophomore year. And I still stay in touch with them today. Certain decisions, whether it was where to go to college or where to move after school or breaking up with girlfriends, whatever issues they’ve had in their lives, we’ve always kind of talked about on the same loop on the same trail.
Lea Wallace: Going home for the Turkey Trot is a part of Thanksgiving for me. It’s crazy because I’ve been to the Olympic trials. I don’t know though if it’s anything like going home and winning your local Turkey Trot. You just feel like a champion.
Taylor Gilland: I’ve run kind of all over the US, all over the world really, and these trails, you might go and run on them and not think they’re anything special. I still think my favourite place to run is this little fire trail.
What’s your story of origin? Which running location will always hold a special place in your heart?
For me, its Lakeside at Eastleigh. It’s noteworthy because it’s where I did my first parkrun. I ran a little before that in Winchester and on Southampton Common. However, I considered myself as a person who did a bit of jogging at that time. parkrun at Lakeside made me a runner.