Step by step, breath by breath
by Yotam Eden
“I've been walking and running barefoot in the fields around my homeland since I was a child. I never thought it to be something special. It was always as natural as talking, sleeping, eating.
In my country, military service is compulsory for all, so as the years went by I had to join the IDF. Bare feet were replaced by heavy red boots and free childhood running was reshaped to become long distance journeys and dozens of solo night navigations around the beautiful landscapes of Israel. My body became stronger, my spirit was made tougher, but as I closed the door on my way out of the 5 years service- I felt an inner voice calling for something else. Something softer and closer to my heart.
For two years I traveled around Israel and the world, getting to know my new free self.
After 4 years I graduated in Chinese Medicine and ILM (a unique physical-energetic treatment founded in Israel and now spreading around the world), and established a family with my beloved wife and three inspiring children.
During all this time I ran from time to time but it was only two years ago that I went deeper into the trail running field as I joined a friend for a training session and fell in love with the sport instantly. Far away childhood memories came back to me, floating around my entire body as I jumped over rocks and branches, slipping downhill quickly and joyfully.
3 months later I joined a race for the first time. The tough 50 km Hyrus Ultra Marathon, where I surprisingly found myself standing at the top of the podium at the end of the race.
After this experience I joined several races. Thirsty for competition and a sense of achievement.
It wasn’t until I joined the 85km Maxi Race in France, that my attitude for this sport changed. 40 km into the race I injured myself like never before, through pain and suffering I completed the race. Weak and beaten up, I realized that something had to be changed in the way I looked at running. It wasn't the competition or the achievement that I was now looking for, but the inner process, the transformation, the meditation.
What was all this running for? What's in this sport that I love so much? What happens to us as we are running out in nature?
These questions baffled me. Through research and my own experience as a runner, I came to realize how profound the process that our body-mind connection goes through as we run is, and more so in trail-running.
Our consciousness is literally being reshaped as new connections are being created in our neurological system.
This process is obviously subconscious, but the more aware we are to it's potential, the more we can use running as a platform for self-transformation and spiritual, and emotional development.
Nature is the ideal environment for this process to occur; every rock we step on, the sounds that surround us, the shuffling of our breath, our pulse, our thoughts, and emotions, make us one with the experience, with the world outside, and with ourselves.
Step by step and breath by breath, free-running has brought the joy of my childhood back into my life and the profound influence of this experience now echoes in my entire bio-system, expanding to all the fields of my life.
As simple and as natural as that. It’s been always here, accessible and open. Waiting for us to take the first step and embark on this healing journey.”
— YOTAM EDEN
Yotam has been in charge of designing the routes of our upcoming Negev Desert Running retreat in Israel and will be joining this experience as the main local expert.
Join Yotam, Shebet Haaretz and the Aire Libre Family in this epic journey across the biblical landscapes of the Negev Desert and into the heart of Jerusalem.
3 & 6 month payment plans available at checkout