I feel the need to begin with a disclaimer, confessing to any reader that this is my first attempt at writing through a blog, and only the beginning of what I hope will be a lifetime of exploring wild areas through hiking and, my personal favorite, trail running. I am not an expert or even a seasoned veteran, but a rookie, albeit an athletic one. Perhaps that is what will set this endeavor apart from many others; I will be learning and discovering just as much as anyone reading this, and you can learn from my successes as well as my failures. For the last decade plus I have been a high school teacher in Tampa, Florida and have coached swimming, flag football, and soccer. I am a husband, and father of two, and my family recently built a farm-house on 13 acres in Riverview. We have chickens, ducks, goats, cats, a dog and wild pigs from time to time. I am way too busy…but that is exactly why I am taking on this new project. My goal in writing Running Wild is simple: to explore as many wilderness areas as possible, to find and share information about trails, challenges, and great places to explore, and to become as comfortable (if that is correct word to use here) and accomplished at running through the wild as I had been running on the track or the soccer fields of my youth. I intend to travel the state of Florida extensively, and the rest of the country as much as possible, looking for the best places to spend a few hours lost in the untamed and immutable beauty of pure nature. I will be emphasizing a minimalist approach to hiking and running, which to me means I will be purposeful in eliminating elements that are non-essential and distract from the simple connection between myself and the experience. Although I am not expressly focused on speed or racing, competition is quite simply a part of my nature so I am sure you will see me push myself faster and harder as time goes on. I will share with you my equipment, my trails, my experiences, and my reflections and I hope you will find some value in each of them. Perhaps some of you will join me in exploring the wilderness in this way, and some of you more experienced than I can help me find more and better places to explore.
In the words of Edward Abbey, “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.”