The February Trail Runner Blog Symposium asks the question, “are tech gadgets more help or hindrance on the trails?” I’m sitting in an airport terminal more than 2,000 kilometers from my home and chuckling. My laugh has more to do with the order of my reading and investigations than anything else.
After spending more than an hour clearing security at Ronald Reagan I sat down wishing for my trigger point rollers. I took one bag for both Aral and I, it’s an Eagle Creek ruck that converts into a checkable suitcase. I have had it and about twenty-five kilograms of crap on my back since we left the my wife’s apartment hours before. It is useful, it get’s the job done for certain, but when it’s heavy like that it leaves my neck and shoulders feeling like I was caned by a malicious Chinese judiciary.
After getting to our gate, we sat down, I opened up my laptop and began to read. The first search I did was “How to go trail running with a child?” My intent is to try to get some trail time without needing to always check him into Hotel de los Abuelos. I wanted to see if others might be pushing their three year olds along trails via Chariot. And what, if any, modifications they have made to make it possible.
I have already mounted a bracket to the push bar so that I can attach a GPS where it is plainly visible. Often I soften the springs on the CX 1 so that the ride is not a jarring Baja dash for Aral. And I have mounted a water bottle holder as well so I’m not trying to thread a handheld through the tether. When you are running with fifteen kilograms of extra weight that has the volatility of Methyl chloride it pays to be as prepared as you can.
From that web search I clicked over to Trail Runner because I’m looking for some replacement shoes. I cannot seem to find the old style C-Lites from La Sportiva any more, and even if I could, well my foot has changed, so I need some help finding the next future-ex pair of trail running shoes.
Just about the time I was thinking I could use an Aleve for the monster headache I’m working on I saw the question. And laughed. Out loud.
“Help or hinderance” you ask? I’m not sure I could even manage two dusty steps along any trail without all those “extras”. Sure, there are moments, usually when I’m sweating like a 41 year old pig under a shade tree on the side of a trail, that I pine for the freedom and mobility of my unencumbered youth. But this is the difficult algebra of age, knowing what you need to get the job done and what you can leave behind because you’ll never use it. The value of those variables tends to shift between extremes as we age.