When you make the decision to run at a camp that is home to a group of young runners still aspiring to greatest, one might think that it would be very intimidating. The idea of being around runners that have delayed the life of corporate successes, personal relationships and general advancement in what the normative behavior of American society offers can seem intimidating.
Why is it intimidating?
The most clear reason that I have come up with is that they are different than me. It is always uncomfortable being around others that are not like you. By saying this, I do not mean they are weird or crazy. They are just not the typical individual. Specifically because they have a vision for what they want to achieve and have committed their lives to do everything they can to pursue that vision.
This fact alone is what I think makes them not only different than me, but different than most. The common way to go about life is to compromise a decision here or there early in our adult lives. We may decide to chose a major in college because it was expected of us, not what we were passionate about. We may take an internship over the summer we do not want, because spending the summer traveling the country and experiencing new cities and places sounds better. We may take the most well paid position when we get out of school, instead of taking less money in a position that allows us to learn and experience things that excite us.
It is interesting that when taken in isolation, every decision can feel like it was the best decision for the moment. I know that when I look back at all the decisions I have made, I never made one without an enormous amount of diligent research and thought. In the moment, the decision was a good decision. The trouble comes when I start looking at those decisions in sequence and as a journey, there were probably wrong choices to create the legacy that I hope to leave on this world.
I personally do not regret any decision as I look back and evaluate where I have been. The choices have provided me some great experiences, great friendships and I have generally trended in the direction I want my long term vision to be. I have respect for the guidance that brought me to this point, being regretful, I believe would be dishonoring that voice.
But that is where the runners at Zap have something that inspires me. They have a vision that is so strong that all decisions are made through that filter. Just last night at dinner, I was talking to a runner that has an education that could open doors to almost any job he would want. In the least, he could find someone to listen. He talked about ideas he had to use that education when he was done running, but then laid out a very clear understanding that those days are many years away. The clarity of the vision is not intimidating, it is inspiring!
What the first two days have been like for me.
The mountains are purifying. This has always been true for me. When I allow them to provide that benefit. I think Nikki would tell you that when we lived in Teller County, Colorado I was more than anxious to find something “different”. It was probably one of the decisions made in isolation and not understanding the larger picture. I lived in a small apartment in Divide that looked out at an unobstructed view of Pikes Peak. For one’s spirit, there is not a more majestic scenery to see each morning. But the clean mountain air, the cool temperatures and the constant hammering of your scenses with things that are not artificial is a wonderful place to be.
That is what the first two days have been about for me. I came to Zap with Thomas and Ali Morgan and Dave Jankowski who all lived and ran for the Zap team for some period of time. In just the two days here, I have heard them all say something to the effect of how easily one can forget the value of being in a place that almost forces you to disconnect and relax.
I came to this weekend with the desire to run on some new trails, spend some time with other runners, learn from runners that have experiences that I have never had and just relax. I am only about 50% through my stay and I have accomplished all of those things.
The benefits that I did not expect have been the following:
* Two of the deepest sleeps I have had in months. Last night this sleep was accompanied by some of the most vivid dreams I have had in a long time. The restoration has been amazing.
* The food has been beyond amazing. Thomas had said that we would have really good food while we were here, which I was a little skeptical about. “How good can camp food really be?” The answer is that it can be way better than your expectations.
* I have started to check my phone much less and loosened the digital tether to some degree. Nikki may say that I’m never tethered to my phone, but that is because I am usually tethered to a computer with headset and microphone or another digital device. Thus far at Zap, I have not ended that (obviously as evidenced by this post), but I have been willing to get out for a hike and just go spend time standing by the creek too.
You can find out more about the Zap Team and their camp on their site: Zap Fitness