When I was setting this site up I knew I wanted to write about certain things, trail running, gravel and mountain biking, a bit of nature philosophy, but you have to be careful not to hem yourself in. I added Misadventures, as a category, to gather up all the other stuff I get up to, but really, all those delineations are for you, not for me.
In my mind, it’s all the same thing.
Whether I’m moving down a trail in hiking boots, trail runners, or on a mountain bike, I’m doing, thinking, and feeling the same stuff. Playing with gravity. Testing my balance and skill. Hardening my endurance. Exploring. Above all, clarifying my thinking.
I used to see each discipline discreetly, and I think that was born, in part, from thinking I had to focus on specific activities to get really good at them. As it turns out, as good as I can get, I’m not going to be great. I’m not going pro. I’m not going semi-pro. My focus and intensity isn’t moving toward anything in particular. It’s nice to feel improvement and burgeoning competence, but without the idea that I’m reaching some high plain of performance, what am I really doing?
What I’m really doing is connecting with the natural world, connecting with friends, playing, exploring terrains, learning about myself. It doesn’t matter how I’m doing that.
Dirt Soul Search encapsulates this idea that my elemental self is out there, to be encountered through all these experiences, away from home, social media, errands, responsibilities, stress, etc., and that readers can find their way into that same search for identity by following whatever path they like, through trail running, through hiking with family, through surfing, or whatever.
To make it all digestible, it’s broken down into rough categories, but that’s kind of a lie. It’s all the same thing. It’s. All. The. Same. Thing.