Wednesday, June 3, 2015

She Wanted to Fly...

The idea of first making a women’s trail running video first came to me in the fall of 2014. Sage had been wanting to make a more artistic video, and so I asked him what he thought of my idea. Of course, he immediately agreed.

One month passed by, then another, and then another. The video was in the back of my head, but I had decided not to do it. It’s quite a bit of work to make even a short video, and I doubted the possibility of a lot of women agreeing to be in the video. It didn’t help I still worry that I’ll say something stupid in front of large groups of people, especially when I don’t know everyone very well. In early spring, Sage brought up the idea again. Being a bit ridiculous as usual, I was somewhat upset as I had already put the idea off. Then, when I found out I needed surgery, I realized the video had to be made now or I could help film it until the fall. Within a week’s notice, 19 beautiful and wonderful women agreed to be part of the video.

The poem She Wanted to Fly... So She Flew by Rachel Nypaver was chosen because it was relatable, not only to individual women, but to women’s running altogether. It was not very long ago when women were told they could not run longer than 800 meters and I believe women are still playing catch up from those old beliefs. In some other countries there is still little respect for female runners. In fact, some countries still believe women should not be competing in the world mountain and trail championships and it is reflected in the system. As my sister reminded me, the original definition of compete is to seek together. While the definition has changed, I still believe running and competing allows women to seek together. This is part of the reason I knew I had to make the video. From the women who have been denied running opportunities to the women who have never been told the power of running in nature, I know the world would benefit from more women seeking together on the trails.

I realize this video isn’t going to change much, but I hope it’s part of the ripple effect that was started by women years ago. One day, I hope for every running video made about a man, that there is a video made about a women as well. While I really enjoy the films made about men as I see the common passion for exploring nature, I hope more filmmakers realize that women are worth watching as well. Just look at how strong and beautiful the women in the film are! Look where their feet have taken them! All the women in the video certainly have stories that are worth telling. I’ll be honest, I don’t feel passionate about making videos. While I truly enjoyed the process, I wouldn’t want to do it again. I believe that when I want something to change, I should act on it, and so that’s what I tried to do. It’s a bit selfish because I want to see more films like Finding Traction, Western Time, and 100 Miles High. Let the ripple effect continue.

By far the biggest reason Sage and I made this video, was in hopes that it would inspire one or two women to get on the trails and maybe those women could inspire their friends. Currently, results show that men are much more likely to participate in trail and ultra races. I know that any woman trail runner could tell you that trail running has had a profound effect on her life. If one women can be inspired to get on the trails and see what flying on the trails feels like, then the stress of trying to find decent music or or losing sleep from audio issues was totally worth it for me. All trail runners know that the trails and mountains can give us strength, show us how to heal, teach us lessons to make us better people, and help us form special bonds with others. I once forgot how to use my wings, and trail running helped me to fly again.

Sincerest thanks to Sage, my adventure partner who agreed to take this video on with me. Honestly, I would have been lost without him and the video would never have been made. Please don’t let this post fool you into thinking that I did most of the work as Sage and I both spent a lot of time on it. I can’t forget to thank Ryan Smith who helped film or Ryan Lassen who let us borrow his GoPro for a few weeks, as well as all the other men who gave us their full support. Ladies, you know a good man when he too realizes why it’s important to get more women on the trails and in ultras!

Run Wild, Run Free,


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