One of my favorite past times, as I traveled the world, was participating as a member of the Hash House Harriers Running Club. The premise often involved hundreds of runners (pack or hounds) looking for clues along the road to indicate the correct path, better known as “True Trail” in order to get to the finish line. The clues are left on sidewalks by designated runners, called “Rabbits”. As one might expect the lead rabbit would leave clues for the correct path, while two or three other rabbits would leave misleading signs or “False Trails” enticing anyone willing to follow to a dead end. It was designed to keep the pack together.
How exciting to start a race without a clear direction to the finish line. As I blasted across the starting line, my heart racing and senses on high alert, my fellow hashers and I looked like a bunch of blood hounds desperately searching for clues and signs to follow. Always working as a team I could hear someone yell “On, On” meaning they had found “True Trail” and were heading in the correct direction. When I found the marks of True Trail I was at once excited and reassured that I was finally on the correct path. There were no guarantees for success. Many would find their way, some would arrive faster than others, and a few remained lost until we sent out search teams. I have been lead through shopping malls, flea markets, across golf courses, up hills, and down many blind alleys.
In the end it was never about who came in first or last, but about the thrill of the adventure, following our intuition, working with team mates, laughing, cursing, and always smiling over finding the elusive True Trail or the frustration of yet another dead end. The finish line was always a celebration of the hunt, of comradeship, and living life to the fullest. Of all my road racing events, my time with my fellow Hashers has provided me with the biggest smiles and fondest memories.
“Wow, what a wonderful metaphor for life. I often step back and look at my life and wonder, “Am I On, On”, am I on “True Trail” or am I chasing a rabbit down a blind alley or worse yet, just settling for the same old comfortable trail?”
There are many lessons to be learned from the Hash House Harrier experience which applies to finding Balance in our Minds, Bodies and Spirits:
1. The path to finding one’s true trail works well in a community with a common goal.
2. The willingness to take a risk going down a false trail in life but ready to make the necessary course alteration to find your true trail.
3. Finding true trail requires an open heart and an adventurous spirit.
4. A willingness to leave your ego at home, not afraid to fail, look foolish, or asking someone for help is a formula for success.
5. Finding true trail is about the journey, the joy of seeking, learning, working together, the exhilaration of being a member of a team, and the joy of just doing it.
6. Learning to trust your inner voice, your intuition, and willing to take a Leap of Faith to find the answers.
7. Knowing that the risk of finding true trail may mean letting go of a strongly held belief or core value which we have held our entire life.
8. The rewards of finding true trail can be the joy of knowing your life is in balance, your body is healthy, your spirit is soaring, and your emotions are free from the burdens of fear, lack, and the unknown.
9. The excitement of joining others just like you who are seeking, willing to share, who will support you, never judge you, and are ready to catch you if you fall.
10. Ready to keep life in perspective, be willing to laugh, be silly, let your hair down, get in touch with your playful energy, and make every moment important.
Finding your “True Trail” is a metaphor for finding Balance in your Life. It is about opening your heart and mind to all of the wonderful possibilities in life. It is about revealing all of your beauty, radiance, and magnificence in the human experience.
It will look like this: Hash House Harriers: Are you following your “True Trail”?