100 milers are like a vacuum-packed ziplock. Once the gun goes off you enter the bubble. Empty gas tanks, unanswered emails, dirty laundry, and the electric bill…they begin to fade in the protected confines of the race. The noise grows quiet and your to-do list becomes succinct. Food, feet, what hurts, big hill, chafe, check the watch, next aid station. A rolodex of tasks propelling you toward the finish. And then, after enough hours, when you are deep in the rhythm, you realize that all the little jobs have gelled together into one simple purpose: move forward.
And there we find it…the peace we crave so deeply. The monkey mind is gone, the clutter is washed away, our path is clear. Rarely do we realize it in the moment, but later we find ourselves desperately wanting to re-create that feeling. Intention, clarity, purpose - and vivid ALIVENESS. I believe that is what creates the adrenaline fueled finishes of a 100miler, the intense rush of simply feeling alive.
No secret here y'all...my heart belongs to the trails. Mountains, wildflowers, and the tallest, finest trees for me, please. Yet somehow I've always been timid about skewing too heavy toward trail running in our design selection.
But in the last few months I've spent a lot of time noodling on the future of RPF and how I can grow and energize this baby that I so believe in. The answer is exciting and has everything to do with following my passion.
After all these years, I still Run Pretty Far to make sense of myself and the world around me. I run to re-find awe in the tiniest things and to create simplicity out of the massive. I run to relax but just as often to push myself, to meditate while I move, to sing and not care who hears, to eat chocolate croissants while watching the sunset, to turn off my headlamp and look at the stars, to find kindred spirits in the chaos who understand that life just feels better when we're running.
And for me, all of that starts on the trails...so it is only natural that more of our designs will be inspired by my folk and forest world....
The last couple weeks have been life in fast-forward, around the clock, with long days of fun, productivity, stress, freedom, excitement. A million times I mean to quiet down, sit still and jot it all down for the blog - but the whirlwind simply hasn't stopped. So instead I have a stack of post it notes of blogs I want to write. Here's the super short hand:
WE'RE OPENING A STORE!
Ok, it's really an office/shipping station/inventory storage, but we're dressing it up pretty and making the whole operation open and transparent to the public. A store!! I'm determined not to get sucked into retail hours or being forever stuck there when I could be playing in the mountains, but I am thrilled at the idea of working with the door open and having you all stop in to say HI or give me your opinions on a design or pick up your local orders. Here's a sneak peak, and by the way, isn't that new tank cute!
What's it like to be RPF's graphic designer as well as wrangle hundred other fabulous free lance jobs? Welcome to the chaotic, wonderful, muddy, weird world of our very own Cassidy Russell in our new 'Behind The Scenes' blog post which we hope will be a semi-regular-not-so-infrequent feature. She's beautiful, pee-your-pants-funny, can get a whole room up on their feet dancing, makes delicate lovelies with lace, AND creates all the art for RPF. Don't you wanna know more?
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In addition to being the designer at Run Pretty Far, I do, well, a few other things. I pot plants at a florist, teach letterpress, work at a theatre, perform improv comedy, and am a visual artist. I don’t sleep much. Jenn was out of town for the beginning of this week, so I spent some time getting organized. For me, that involves a lot of list making, a fair amount of art journaling, and a dumb amount of earl grey tea.