On Saturday I spent a glorious day running the trails in Huntsville State Park with my colleague Rand Mintzer in the Rocky Raccoon 50K. Just imagine - eight hours with no cell phones, no text messages, no e-mails, no voice mails and no list-serve refuse.
Instead we had fellow runners, aid station workers, random hikers and bikers and the sounds of nature.
It does the body good to get completely off the grid every now and then. There has to be more to life than that shiny little phone on your belt or that tablet in your briefcase. There is a world out there with dirt and sand and mud underfoot and tree canopies overhead. Trail running forces you to focus on the present.
Take your eyes off the trail, lose concentration for a moment and you'll find yourself taking a tumble. Or, you might even find yourself off course if you're engaged in an interesting conversation with another runner.
We live in our own virtual worlds - our artificial constructs. To maintain sanity and to ground ourselves, sometimes you need to exit stage left and explore the real world. I have a sore foot and tight muscles and it hurts to walk at times but, damn, that was a good day out in the woods.