Fin(n)ishing where I began.
Back in December I started a journey of exploration and in collaboration with Karhu shoes- I would document my experiences, and travels as I ran. And run I have, from trails in Eastern Finland, Helsinki, Lahti, on Suomenlinna to Canada - Banff, Canmore & Edmonton, then back to Helsinki and now back to Eastern Finland, poetically, right where I started. I wanted to share this experience for reasons I knew and reasons I would manifest. I would be training for my first ski marathon (Finlandia-hihto) and telling a story of personal learnings, challenges overcome and moments appreciated.
This exploration has been powered by my steps and by my thirst for adventure. In the past couple months I have run or skied more than 1000 kilometers using Charity Miles (free iPhone/Android application) which makes a donation to the Michael J Fox Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer (charities I chose out of a list of more than 20) for every mile, simply for me doing what I love. I am thankful for this. This accumulation of miles is not out of the ordinary for me, as I have been training for and running marathons since 2010.
Along the way I rekindled a love affair with my home (Western Canada), and for simplicity. I had not taken in the majesty of the Rocky Mountains for some years and upon returning I fell in love all over again.
While I have been exploring, I have worked to bring into balance my time online and offline and be grateful for all moments, in all contexts. Social media facilitates community and exploration, but its presence should not impede one’s own. It is a vehicle for sharing and camaraderie, but it is not a relationship in and of itself.
I believe each run is a gift, an opportunity to, as a friend would say, ‘collect wonder.’ To take a new path and find a little adventure can be incredibly enriching. Living in Finland and spending time in the eastern part of the country, full with its unkempt wilderness, I have come to realize it is here where my heart is most full and at peace.
Daily frivolities and superfluousness that can come to overwhelm us, distort our priorities, and over-complicate things. Reconnecting with ourselves is vital, running does this for me. Answering the call for simplicity was exactly what I needed. I can’t wait for the next adventure.
I am thankful to Karhu and their support and encouragement and, of course, their trail shoes that took me everywhere I went, faster than ever.
You can find all my photographs on instagram —> @hamiltonguevara