From the editors

Read the TRAIL team's editorials published in TRAIL issue 38. Deon Braun and Heloise Hunter want you to thrive through these testing times.

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iPad cover Otter TRAIL 38

Change and progress

What a year 2020 was! It’s not often that the human race experiences something globally like we just did. Holy moly! If you’re reading this, it’s a good sign that you made it through mostly intact.

Trials and tribulations are not fun while we’re suffering through them, but I’ll bet some of yours will be among the things you’ll value most one day. Maybe some of those you’ll even laugh about.

Likewise, I bet the stories you’ll remember most in this issue are of people just like you, doing their best through the tough – and good – times.

We feature inspiring accounts of runners at Otter African Trail Run and K-Way SkyRun that impressed us with their tenacity. If you haven’t done these remarkable events yet, think about doing so at some point. They truly are life changing.

I’m trying to remember a time in my 23-year publishing career when there was as much upheaval as 2020. Only 2003 and 2013 come anywhere close. If you’re reading TRAIL for the first time, thank you for your support through our transition to a digital-only publication.

I thought the following quote from Noam Chomsky is so relevant. The 92-year-young linguistics professor and political activist says “Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below.”

editors editorial Deon Braun TRAIL 38 at Otter African Trail Run
photo Peter Kirk / Otter African Trail Run 2020

I understand that to mean we humans are the ones who make change happen through our battles with life’s challenges.

Your life has a second chance. Who knows what adventures 2021 holds for you? You’ll find out soon enough, and I’ll bet trail running is going to provide many of them. Happy trails!

Deon Braun, Publisher

Feeling small

There’s freedom in being small. Into the mountains I go, dwarfed by the rocks, weather, and open space. And I feel wonderfully little.

Humans are bad at understanding scale. The scale of thousands to millions to billions, or home to city to province to country to world to galaxy. Or seconds to days to years to centuries to millennia. And thinking about it makes me so happy!

Because if I am small, so are my mistakes and my problems, and I get to choose what really matters to me. Because in the grand scheme of things, nothing matters.

Don’t be depressed by the idea. It means you’re free! You can decide the cumulative impact your actions have on your health, the world around you, and the communities you engage with.

For instance, every piece of litter I pick up, or plastic bag I say no to, I imagine a fish whose life I’ve saved. For every security guard or cashier I encounter, I have the opportunity to brighten their day with a compliment.

editors editorial Heloise Hunter TRAIL 38 at Holla TrailsFor every kilometre I run, I can choose to let it be for joy and beauty, or speed and endurance, but not wasted.

Our ripples can begin small and stretch outwards. Those of you who chose to donate to the Rhino Peak Challenge, your many small acts have accumulated almost R1 million for conservation! How wonderful to be small but to make a difference. Thank you.

You are small, but mighty, and have the ability to make your tiny spot in the universe better.

Heloise Hunter, TRAIL editor

  • Get the latest digital edition of TRAIL magazine here.
  • The TRAIL team’s editorial address, as published in TRAIL issue 38.
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