Running with the Buffalo + Healthy Creativity

Have I told you that I love to run?  Have I also mentioned that despite this love, and how great running makes me feel, I struggle to make time for it – especially in the dark, cold of winter?

Bison On Antelope Island.jpg

Bison On Antelope Island From Wiki Commons

This conflict I have between wanting to run and making it a priority in my day, has been sorely apparent in my recent training.  Literally.  My ankles and muscles are a little tender from the long runs I’ve been going on to prepare for what’s to come this Saturday.  It came up way more quickly than I expected and I haven’t trained as much as I had hoped to.

So what am I running?  A 25K (~16 miles) trail run – The Buffalo Run on Antelope Island.  And, yes, it is as wild as it sounds.  Antelope Island is a state park located in the Great Salt Lake, 7 miles from the shore of the nearest town.  There are pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, american bison (between 500 and 700 at any one time!), porcupine, badger, coyote, bobcat, and millions of waterfowl.

This is my favorite kind of run.  I don’t enjoy running in the city or between houses nearly as much – though I do often.  I prefer to run in small events (fewer people) and with amazing natural surroundings and wildlife…

…like the Moab Other Half that follows the Green River between tall red rock, where a lone eagle might make an appearance;


…or the Little Grand Canyon Half in the San Rafael Swell – my favorite camping area – where all you see is red rock, blue sky, and green and yellow plants;

San Rafael Little Grand Canyon

…and my most recent favorite, the Wahsatch Steeplechase, that climbs a few thousand feet through spring wildflowers and melting snow before returning us to the city below.

Movement and nature are my muses

Each time I return from an event like these, I feel refreshed, inspired, and accomplished.  And, I also find that I have a sense of urgent creativity – not just during or after these events, but in training for them and spending time in nature and in motion – whether it’s hiking with my dogs, working in the garden, or going camping with my husband and friends.

They are all activities that get me away from my work and into a space where my mood is lifted and ideas have a chance to show up.  The fact is, they allow me to clear my head of what I think I should be focusing on, as well as engage my senses and body.  I am present, so to speak.  And when this happens, my creative juices start flowing.

On a sunny run one day last fall, for example, I ended up developing a fully-formed plan for an idea that I had barely considered.  I came back from the run and spent the next half hour with my markers mapping the idea out on a white board in my office.  Since then, I have been able to add to it and create something that I wouldn’t have otherwise.  And the really cool part?  It felt inspired.  Not rote or forced in any way.

Healthy and creative – not just productive.  What an awesome and powerful combination!

How do you invite health and creativity into your busy day?  What do you do to motivate yourself – or do you love it so much it is the centerpiece of your day?

2 thoughts on “Running with the Buffalo + Healthy Creativity”

  1. Stormy! On Saturday I’ll be cheering for you and the buffalo running together. What an amazing experience to be on the open range surrounded by the vastness of nature. I am so grateful for your site~ your photography is vibrant & compelling from natural paleo wholeness to these amazing spaces and places in Utah. I feel refreshed, uplifted and renewed by your post today. I too have a special experience with the high plateau of Colorado and have experienced the mind-altering rocks of Moab. One summer day in Colorado, I was headed for a walk through a ground hog reserve outside of Fort Collins. As my eye’s caught the sparking Aspen leaves blowing in the wind, an ancient echo rumbled beneath my feet. In the next moment, I heard the sounds of a buffalo stampede emerging from the earth. The earth remembers those who love and nurture the force of life. Here’s to Life on Antelope Island. Your run will be archived in the earth’s memory for all eternity.

    1. Barbara, thank you for your lovely comment; it sounds like you have had your own amazing experiences with nature! I also appreciate your kind words about my site – it is a work in progress. I am really excited for tomorrow. Traveling away from the city into the hills, deserts, and islands is something I feel compelled to do regularly. Being able to visit the magical places that we have here is a gift. My husband and I are fortunate to live near the foothills of the Wasatch mountain range – we have numerous 4-legged and winged neighbors that remind us of this magic every day.

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