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Why the tree?

A tree in bloom with yellow flowers
Not a live oak, but a flowering neighborhood tree

Southwood Running gets its name from my neighborhood, where I do most of my running. It also happens to have an incredible number of trees, including my favorite, Live Oaks.

Being planted in the ground and generally immobile, unless you count the Ents in the Lord of the Rings, trees aren’t typically linked to a sport associated with mobility and speed. 

But, when I think about my running journey and those of many people I know, trees become a lot more relevant. When you start to build a running habit, your roots are weak - it can be fairly easy to fall out of routine, your body isn’t yet accustomed to what you are asking of it and you need to build strength to avoid injury. 

As you gain fitness, your roots deepen. The habit of getting out for the run becomes ingrained and strength builds on strength. We all still need an off season to provide our body and mind with a refresh, as winter does for many trees. 

And, who could forget the joy that comes from both running and being surrounded by trees?

Wise are ye, O ancient woods! wiser than man. Whoso goeth in your paths or into your thickets where no paths are, readeth the same cheerful lesson whether he be a young child or a hundred years old. -Emerson

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