Thursday Night Trails may be put to bed for another year, but there is always the great memories that were created on those fabulous evening runs. We asked Jeff Stickler if he could share with us his background in running and his adventures with TNT. He kindly obliged. Enjoy the read.
I moved to the valley from the Sunshine Coast in the spring of 2006. I walked at least an hour a day for a few years before moving here and continued to do so for the first few years here. I still managed to gain a few pounds. One day at a party someone commented on the size of my belly so I started running the next day!
That was a little over three years ago. I started with a neighbour who quit after a couple of weeks but by then I was hooked. I noticed small improvements each week and that kept me going. Eventually I was running for an hour on the same trail at least three days a week.
I volunteered at MusicFest in the summer of 2011 where I met Karen Weller.I was working and camping with a group of great people but none of them were into fitness, in fact they were all smokers so when Karen rode in to the campsite on her bike it was literally a breath of fresh air.
When I told her I had been running the same trail alone for a year she looked at me with that tilted head, confused expression and said “You should try running with a group, it’s way more fun!”. We went for a run a couple of days later on “my trail” where she assessed me at group 4 so the next Thursday I showed up the Northeast Woods and have hardly missed a TNT run since!
During the 2012 season there were a couple of times when we were missing a few of the regular leaders so Frank asked me to lead group 4 (this years’ group 3). This season I lead groups 1 & 2 a few times but I think I tend to be a bit to peppy and made a better sweeper at that tempo. When I get warmed up and those endorphins get moving, I find it difficult not to speed up!
The things I like about running are firstly the physical benefits, muscle toning, cardio endurance an overall sense of feeling stronger. Second are the mental benefits. I have less anxiety and depression, and much clearer thinking. It’s a great confidence builder.
I would say my favourite trail is anything between Nymph Falls and the Lake. It’s beautiful any time of day, in any kind of weather year round. It’s not technical so my mind can wander and on warm days it’s nice to finish with a cool dip in the river.
My favourite moment from this seasons TNT would have to be running with Kate Brotherston before the second pot-luck at the lake talking about the fried chicken waiting for us after the run!
For those who are just starting out I would say congratulations, you’re 90% ahead of the rest of the pack just for showing up! Also to celebrate each victory no matter the size!
Thank-you Jeff. Love it!
Again we cannot say enough thank-you’s to ALL the volunteer run leaders and Frank Graham for making this super cool trail run work every week. The organization put into this community phenom is amazing.
We live in an incredible place and running can take us to areas where some people may never see. So next time you are out for a run take a minute to breathe it all in and look around. Running is a beautiful thing!
Until next year…