Words from the heart

Posted on November 20, 2012


My time in HK is fast coming to an end so despite still feeling a little stiff post last weekends Oxfam Trailwalker, I am determined to get out on to my favourite trails for a little trot! The weather has been cool and overcast but still, running up and around The Peak is as exhilarating as ever and can’t fail to warm the soul.  It reminded me of my post written last May … my love letter to the Hong Kong trails … which I’ve re-posted below …

Dear HK Trails,

Having been an expat brat for a pretty long time, I’ve been a secret fan of yours for some years now. I think it’s time then that I tell you the truth about my feelings for you.  I admit, I wasn’t always a fan.  When I was younger and a little bit wild, I preferred to hang out in Lan Kwai Fong bars all night … drinking, dancing and getting up to no good. This normally led to falling into bed near the crack of dawn and then sleeping for half the day. In between, it would often result in taking all my friends to the LRC or the Football Club for breakfast (sorry dad!) or occasionally, a visit to Pinkies, the tattoo parlour.

But then as I grew older and wiser, my love for partying started to die down and I realised it’s actually far more fun to have a really great training session … far healthier too. Admittedly, running initially was more about being a great tool to getting into a hot size 4 LBD but then I realised it’s a brilliant way to work out what was going on in my head and what I wanted out of life. It made me feel strong, physically and mentally.

 Discovering amazing trails became the object of my affections. Exploring you seemed all that mattered.  Powering up Victoria Peak when my lungs were screaming became a challenge I couldn’t pass up … the feelings of reward and accomplishment on getting back to casa Leckie were far more fruitful than a night on the town. Eventually, the late nights were replaced with early sleeps to rise early, feeling fresh. So too were hot kitten heels replaced with a love for super comfy running shoes.

I started rooting for trails elsewhere too. I‘ve now run in all four corners in short races, long races, self and semi supported, single stage, multi stage, flat, mountainous, technical, easy … you name it. The only common thread between all these trails is me … my commitment to loving the trail, my will to continue this great journey of self-discovery and my being head to toe in adidas, my adidas.

I know you see other people.  You don’t discriminate who you take love from. I hear stories about you from other runners.  I see you with plenty of walkers and their canine companions, I see you with families, out for a Sunday walk, I see you with joggers, interspersing their run with a spot of Tai Chi. I know that as soon as you’re finished with me, you’re onto the next runner or walker on the list.  But I don’t care.  

I love the way that you are never the same.  Sometimes you are coastal.  Sometimes you are mountains. Sometimes you are in dense vegetation, sometimes in open clearings.  Sometimes you are all steps, sometimes you are steep. Sometimes you are humid. And sometimes you are just plain wet. On every new run, you show me hidden parts of yourself.  Even if it’s as small as a new bud or flower, I always feel that I’m the only one that has seen that side of you.  Your mammoth ‘up’s and down’s’ just inspire me to work harder, tread lighter and run faster. 

There are times when you have had to teach me a lesson; to remind me how special you are.  When I’ve taken you for granted, you’ve taught me respect.  At times, I’ve been defeated by you, but then as I come crawling back, you have fast forgiven me. You challenge me on so many different levels.  You force me to work all of myself.  My body, my heart, my soul and my mind.

So HK Trails, I suppose, deep down, I just want to thank you for all you have given me over the years. This morning as I ran The Peak and Blacks Link, I realised that my absence here hasn’t caused my love for you to diminish. I leave soon but already I’m planning when next to return.  More miles, more runs, more challenges. 

And even though you may question my loyalty at times, no trails, anywhere, come close to you. Without question. 




PS. When I posted this last time, my mum asked, ‘what about the trails in Scotland?’ to which I can only reply … if you ever find yourself in central Scotland and can find the time for a run up Yellowcraigs Woods and Dumyat or in and around Sheriffmuir Inn, you will remember it forever.  I smile as I type this very sentence … x



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