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Team RWB Trail Running Camp 2013: Falling Leaves of Opportunity

“This is a dream vacation.” – Thoughts from a military veteran while enjoying lunch together at the Team RWB trail running camp.

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

I was honored to be involved with the second annual Team RWB Trail Running Camp over Veterans Day weekend on the ruggedly beautiful trails of Camp Eagle in south central Texas. An extremely beautiful weekend was spear-headed by some of the most passionate folks in the sport – Liza Howard, Jason and Alison Bryant, and Joe and Joyce Prusaitis. A weekend full of the trail running lifestyle with an added focus of welcoming and introducing military veterans into our running community!

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

This year included around 200 smilin’ campers with a wide range of trail running experience from none, to experienced multi-day athletes. It’s all good!

Acceptance of individuality. Integration of community.

Half of the campers were military veterans and half civilians. Smaller groups were created based on running background which included a blend of veterans, civilians, local volunteers, and a number of uber fast-astic trail runners with compassionate hearts from throughout the country. You may have heard of a few of them 😉 – Max King, Pam Smith, Sage Canaday, Meghan Arbogast, Nikki Kimball, Dominic Grossman, Matt Hart, Dave James, Jason Schlarb, Sabrina Little, Zach Bitter, Darcy Africa, Katie DeSplinter, Roy Pirrung, and more.

Dude!

Plus our local nutritionist and ultra athlete, Meredith Terranova, raised the bar of the overall food quality this year with her involvement with the meal crew of the camp!

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Reflecting on an impactful weekend like this took a few days and a few cups of coffee to begin absorbing the experience. And then while sitting quietly, looking out a window at a tree beginning to lose its leaves for the Winter season, the following words gently floated to the forefront of my thoughts like one of the golden leaves falling from the tree…

It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s our opportunity.

Over the next few days I kept thinking about these words and the camp during  my week day eight mile run.

I could feel the words.

They flowed through my veins.

Flowed through my heart.

Brought emotion to my eyes.

I thought about one of our group volunteers staying-with and helping one of the campers that tweaked his ankle during one of our group runs.

It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s our opportunity.

I thought about one of our campers who hung with and helped veteran, Edward Lychik, through the mud pit during Sunday’s crazy-fun obstacle course. Edward wears a one of a kind prosthetic for his entire left leg which was impacted from a rocket blast that hit his vehicle in Afghanistan.

 It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s our opportunity.

I thought of a family that sponsored a veteran which allowed her to have the opportunity to come back again this year and share her positive progress over the last year.

 It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s our opportunity.

I thought about elite athlete Nikki Kimball and her willingness to be vulnerable and talk about her journey with depression.

It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s our opportunity.

I thought of Liza, Jason, Alison, Joe and Joyce for having the courage to create something out of nothing. To provide a place for veterans and civilians to play, share, connect, and grow as people, as a community.

 It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s our opportunity.

As we go back to our “normal” lives, an experience like the Team RWB Trail Running camp can be crazy-inspiring, over-floweth your trail running toolbox, and maybe even more importantly increase your awareness of those falling leaves of opportunity that surround us everyday to share, connect, grow as people, as a community.

More Pics from the Camp

Liza and first-aid (Photo credit: David Hanenburg)

Liza and her first-aid chat – “Don’t pet the snakes!” (Photo credit: David Hanenburg)

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Training insight by Jason and Joe (Photo credit: David Hanenburg)

Training insight by Jason and Joe (Photo credit: David Hanenburg)

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Allison's chat on injury prevention and management (Photo credit: David Hanenburg)

Alison’s chat on injury prevention and management (Photo credit: David Hanenburg)

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo credit: David Hanenburg

Photo Credit: David Hanenburg

Photo Credit: David Hanenburg

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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