I watched the recent LIVE MORE NOW video that BUFF created with Gina Lucrezi – the founder of Trail Sisters, a female-centric trail running community aimed at getting more women into trail running and the overall outdoor community. Trail Sisters has a really strong presence in Portland where I live, and they’ve done a lot for the local trail running scene – definitely a cool outfit.
I was struck by a few elements from the video that I thought were really poignant and wanted to share.
Running Sucks… At First
Nothing new here – save for a select few, most people just don’t like running at first and take a lot of time to warm up to the sport. Plus, most of us were first introduced to running as a form of punishment for misbehaving, which clearly didn’t help matters.
But, in my opinion, that’s part of what makes the sport great and is one of the best messages in the video. It’s not easy to like running. It takes a lot of discomfort and hard work, usually with gains not showing for 6-18 months. In a society that continues to value instant gratification at alarming levels, it’s easy to see why that kind of commitment isn’t immediately appealing.
But through that difficult testing ground, Gina was able to find success in the literal sense when she was a competitive runner, and in the more spiritual sense as she struggled to find larger meaning in her life. Running is never easy, and that’s why it shows us things about ourselves that would otherwise remain hidden.
Change is the Way
When we start running, we’re awkward and out of shape and tired and annoyed, probably a little embarrassed, and none of it feels right. But the idea that it isn’t right is EXACTLY the kind of mentality that we need to challenge, and I think the video does a nice job of pushing us in that direction.
Gina talks about her frustration with only seeing messaging targeted at guys, and she made it her mission to change that. She created a community to speak directly to females, to spread the word about what makes trail running and a sense of community so important in our digitally connected (but actually fragmented) society. She challenged convention and pushed people to get out of their comfort zone to experience more – to actually change.
Who Am I?
Gina’s message of change is not just in shifting external perceptions, but to change and challenge how we perceive ourselves. It’s awesome to hear her talk about how she was a super successful collegiate runner (national champ in the indoor mile), and that, for all of her life, she’d only defined herself by the number of wins she could rack up. Race, race, race. Faster, faster, faster. Win, win, win.
No wonder she burned out and stopped running for a long time – that’s a truly exhausting and brutal way to view and judge yourself.
But Gina found a new lens through which to view herself through trail running and the outdoor community. And like most change in our lives, one of the best outcomes of this new approach and updated worldview was unexpected – it led to the birth of Trail Sisters, which has evolved and grown more than she could have ever imagined.
Live More Through Change
Probably my favorite moment of the video comes at the end, when Gina talks about helping people change their own worlds. Not via a fixed route, or in a strictly prescribed experience, but to change their world by getting outside, trying new things, meeting new people, having fun, and, to quote Gina, by “living life, living the most you can at the moment.”
The more you live, the more you experience, the more you change, and the better you become.
Change is how we grow.
Change is how we live.
So to live more of the life we’ve been given, we need to keep pushing ourselves to grow and change and evolve.
It’d be easy to view Gina’s video as just a story of female empowerment and a positive step toward gender equality. It’s definitely both of those things, but struck me as being about so much more. About living so much more, and by so doing, find our best selves.
Check out the video HERE!