Saturday, July 9, 2011

Run Smiley Challenge, #1: Climb a Tree

Lately, I've been having a bit of a tree-climbing renaissance. I used to love climbing trees as a kid, but its not something I've really done much in the last 15 years; I think it falls into that dreaded category of "things grown ups don't do:" Grownups take Things Seriously. Grownups Don't Walk Around Barefoot. Grownups certainly Don't Climb Trees. But ever since a friend got me into sport climbing and bouldering about a year ago, I've been walking around peering at everything with the thought, "can I climb that?" The obvious answer with so many trees is "Yes! Yes I can climb that!" and so in the same spirit that has brought many of us to barefoot running or just running with a smile, I've begun giving into that impulse more and more, and quite often find myself up a tree.

But this is not the Tree Climb Smiley Collective, so what's my point? I like climbing trees. I like running. So it logically follows that I would probably REALLY like climbing a tree while out for a run, right? I don't know, since I haven't done it yet, but I keep having that thought. To stop the procrastinating, I've set a deadline, and challenged myself to stop during one of my runs this week and climb a tree.

And I'm challenging YOU to do the same. At some point in the next seven days, climb a tree -- barefoot or in shoes, doesn't matter, but it has to be while you're out for a run. Better yet, take a picture. If you run with a partner, have them get a shot of you up in the tree; if you run alone, get the view, or your feet, or stretch your arm out like you're doing a solo Facebook profile shot (legal disclaimer: you can't sue me or the Run Smiley Collective if you fall out of the tree and break anything. None of us have any money, so it won't do you any good). E-mail the picture to me (mrvandyke[at] and next week I'll have a post about my tree-climbing run, plus a slide-show of other people up trees. And the winner will get . . . okay, nothing. There's no prize, other than the vast honor of being featured on this site and the fun you'll have climbing a tree.

That's it. I have my assignment, and you have yours. I'm calling this "Run Smiley Challenge #1," in the hopes that more will follow. Ta!


  1. This is great. I think we have found you a new role in the collective. "Creator of weekly smiley challenges". Frankly the "Run Smiley" is a very loose idea. We embrace all things smiley - although we will only publish those that WON'T get us into any trouble with obscenity laws. Just pre-warning you all! ;)

  2. Grown us dont do cartwheels either challenge?

  3. Done this often! NO BETTER FEELING! Pics on my fb pg :) - Highly recommended

  4. Oh pooo there are no big trees here!!!!!!!

  5. Oops, it took over a week, but I finally did it tonight! Thanks for the motivation!! I had limited time to run so had to run extra fast to find a tree to climb along the way.