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Namaste Y’all Wanderlust Austin Diaries Day 1

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES GUIRY & CHETAN PATEL, WANDERLUST AUSTIN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES GUIRY & CHETAN PATEL, WANDERLUST AUSTIN

Finding your true north – it’s probably easier said than done, but it’s most certainly a journey.

I am by far one of the most athletic people in my group of friends. I’m not tooting my own horn—it’s the truth. And I work hard for it. But being at Wanderlust Austin for the kickoff events on Thursday, I realized that “most athletic” doesn’t mean most flexible or healthiest or most centered or most at peace with my body or life. It just means I’m athletic. And I’m probably missing a bunch of those 1 percents that make up one’s true north.

Thursday was a short day, but it started with an amazing açai bowl from Blenders and Bowls. It seems that’s how pretty much everyone’s day started.

My first session was with Chris McClung who taught the clinic Why Running Doesn’t Have to Suck

I take pride in calling myself a runner, but I’ll be honest – sometimes it just sucks. So if someone was going to tell me in two hours why it doesn’t have to suck, I was game. As a former college athlete, running was our punishment and Chris McClung (a former soccer player himself) totally got that. It was interesting to hear his journey from a wannabe runner to now well-established coach.

“We are born to run,” McClung said, as he related running form to stories of his three children. “We’re are all runners at our core,” he said, mostly targeting us naysayers who wouldn’t necessarily classify ourselves as runners.

I don’t consider myself a very good runner, but can I still call myself a runner? According to McClung, yes I can.

A few highlights from McClung’s morning clinic:

  • There are 3 things that need to lead your runs: Purpose, Community and Variety. Ask yourself why you are running? McClung said running just to lose weight isn’t a good reason or purpose. Good reasons, he said, could be: competitive drive, connectivity to nature, a de-stressor, or bonding with friends. Those are things that give you a purpose and keep you going.
  • A runner for 14 years, McClung admits it took him five years to fall in love with the activity. It certainly wasn’t love at first sight, especially for us former collegiate athletes. “I encourage you to find others to help with the accountability. Try joining a running club.”
  • McClung had a great response to those who think running is boring. “Running is only boring if you make it boring.” That’s where adding variety to your running routes or trails comes into play. McClung warns not to run the same loop over and over again as it gets monotonous.
  • STFD: Slow the **** down. When we run too fast, we tire too fast and lose interest. Simple.
  • In running, leave your ego behind. For me, I need to realize I’ll never be that amazing softball player again and that I may not be as good at running as I was at softball. And I need to be OK with that.
  • “Slow” is a bad word—there are only degrees of fast. “After all, you’re still running faster than anyone sitting on the couch,” McClung said.

My other Thursday session was with Liz Davis for the Not All Who Wander Are Lost hike.

Liz Davis is one of those people who simply exudes happiness. Even her wild hair looked happy. She was awesome. Whatever it took to make her so happy, I wanted to learn it, so I dove right in. Davis told us right off the bat that her father always said, “you need four hugs a day for maintenance and ten for personal growth.” So guess what we did a lot of during our hike?

That’s right, hugging.

Throughout the hike, Davis instructed us to “live in the now,” citing how easy it really is to do, even in our own cities. She told us we were going on a sacred, confidential walk and then asked us to pair up with a partner.

Her advice to us on the hike: Be present.

One of the first questions Davis asked my hiking partner and I was, “When’s the last time you felt real joy?” I told my new friend it was last summer when I picked up and moved to Hawaii to write a book. I told them how much better of a person I had become and how it had allowed me to forgive myself for things and learn more about myself.  Then my partner said something pretty incredible: “My advice to you—since you can’t go to Hawaii everyday—is to do more Hawaii things in your everyday life.

How simple, yet genius.

Davis ended the session by reminding us all that, “It’s never too late to live your life.” A huge group hug ensued.

Other Highlights from Day 1 of Wanderlust Austin

The tents and shopping outdoors. I was a big fan of all the discounted Spiritual Gangster apparel and the free chair massages offered by Z Living to help us recoup after our sessions.

Friday is a big day for my schedule, so check back here for Day 2 Diaries. Thanks for reading, and Namaste Y’all.

This post ran online at Austin Fit Magazine. Click here to see the original article with more great photos.