I enjoy watching Kilian run the mountains. If you are not familiar with Kilian, his full name is Kilian Jornet Burgada. Check out some of his videos here to be inspired. He dominates mountain running, aka sky running, at the age of 25. It is fascinating watching him ascend and descend different types of terrain, whether rocky, snow-covered, grassy, steep, or across a glacier. He lopes like an antelope and climbs like a mountain goat. It’s as if he is running on air, he is so light on his feet. And talk about fast…He holds the record for fastest ascent and fastest combined ascent and descent of Kilimanjaro. He jumps and leaps, racing through the sky. It is truly beautiful to watch. It is awe-inspiring.
This past week, my family and I went running through the terrain at the park just down from our house. It is nothing like the locations in which Kilian runs. The depth and breadth does not even qualify as a portion of a percent compared to the mountainous ranges of Spain, Italy, Switzerland, etc., but for beginners, it was certainly enough. We ran, we loped, we jumped, we leaped…and what fun it was! I felt revitalized. I felt alive. I felt like a kid again. It wasn’t just fun, though, it was hard, too. My lungs burned with the effort. My muscles ached from the output. I paid dearly the next two days, with calf muscles so tight, it felt like they were ripping as I walked. It was so worth it, though. For a moment, I felt like I was Kilian ripping across that mountain, floating through the air.
I am under no delusions. I know I will never run at the level Kilian runs. I know I won’t even come close. I am too old, I am a female, and I do not have the athletic background. In my own way, though, I will sky run—even if it is at our local park for just 15 minutes at a time, for now. And, maybe, just maybe, I will someday have the opportunity, after putting in a lot of hard work and training, to ascend a mountain of some significant height and then make the descent, running free.