Trail Rhythm

Photography and Words by Sarah Attar

One of the biggest lessons that running really has cemented for me is that big feats pair well with big rest. It’s a natural rhythm, the ebb and flow of the engagement of our energy within the universe. This physical and mental necessity allows us to process, rebuild, and renew in order to keep moving forward. I feel this rhythm in sync with the earth. A steady cycle that reminds us of the planetary rotations and our place in the solar system; a reflection of the passage of time. It’s all around us; in the changing of the leaves, the rising and setting of the sun, the shorter/longer days, the new buds sprouting. But as we can see, the rest is never truly stagnant. Rest is reformation.

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Big feats pair well with big rest.

In the months of September and October my main focus in running was exploring some of the backcountry trails in the Eastern Sierra. This was a stark contrast to the intensity and streamline focus of my summer training leading up to the Rio Olympics. After this feat was accomplished I took some time off and then was back to running but in a very different form. It was training but it was a relaxed form where the landscape took control and I embraced the earth’s rhythm. The colors were just starting to shift in the higher elevation aspens, and temperatures were starting to come down. The rising sun held more of that golden hue that only comes at this time of the year. It was a way for me to mentally process everything, while not specifically meditating on it. Rather I was able to let my mind wander with the trail that stretched out before me as a steady guidance of thought.

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I was brought to the higher elevations and alpine lakes. It’s a quiet unlike any other. The kind where there’s an occasional buzz of some bug, or wind rustling the trees, or my favorite, the sound of a bird flapping its wings just overhead. It’s so much more pronounced in the quiet and solitude of 11,000 ft. It was a combination of calm and thrill, a relaxed yet strenuous movement. It’s the same balance that comes and goes with the seasons and life’s rhythms. I always find that on the trail, or rather it always finds me, greeting me like the rising sun.

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Sarah Attar is a professional Runner and Artist who lives and trains in Mammoth and San Diego, California. Follow her photography on Instagram and Twitter and learn more on her Website.

How do you take rest?