Broke down in Kyrgyzstan.

Yes. Sometimes it’s an easy answer… Do you want coffee this morning? Do you want to go for a run? How about some chocolate? No question, yes, absolutely.

Do you want to do this thing that you’re not sure you can do and that has some consequences if you can’t actually do it? Yes. Sure.

Saying yes to something exciting seems easy, but those same offers knot my stomach, induce visible sweat marks under my arms, and may cause stuttering. The hard part is verbalizing the answer. Once that’s done, then the only option is to do it.  

“Yes” has taken me hiking in the Indian Himalaya, ski touring in Bulgaria and Kyrgyzstan, and running all over the Swiss Alps. It’s also left me stranded beside broke-down vehicles far from anywhere, retching freeze-dried chili in the middle of the night in a blizzard, sleeping on couches and in parking lots, hanging from a thin rope over gaping glaciers, sunburnt, greasy, unwashed, exhausted, and absolutely humbled. That was just the last few months.

Banya time in the Kyrgyz backcountry.

Yes, gave me tons of unlikely stories. And one of the most improbable is probably co-authoring a guidebook to trail running in the Swiss Alps, or helping to build Elevation. It seemed daunting that a sprained ankle, a stretch of wet weather, or any number of missteps could ruin the whole project. But we ran, head-on, into whatever bonks, bumps, and blunders might arise. Finally holding the book in hand, after seemingly endless kilometers and edits, I’m more than grateful to have been a part of this project. Dan, Janine, Doug, thanks for asking.

What to do next…. Tomorrow, Nepal? Yep.

By Kim Strom

Running beside the Aletschgletscher.


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