DiscoverWomen's Running StoriesKatie Arnold: Zen on the Run
Katie Arnold: Zen on the Run

Katie Arnold: Zen on the Run

Update: 2024-04-19


In 2016, elite ultra-distance trail runner and writer Katie Arnold experienced a traumatic river rafting accident that left her questioning whether or not she would ever be able to run again. This is the story of how Arnold healed after her accident and how that process helped her rediscover a pure joy of running and a magical return to racing. This happened over the period of time when Arnold was 46 to 48 years old.

This episode was made on the occasion of the release of Arnold’s second book, Brief Flashings in the Phenomenal World. The book was just released April 16, 2024. To borrow the description that her publisher put out, “This book is a Zen study wrapped in a memoir that tells the story of a search for stillness by a woman born for wildness.” And it’s an apt description.

This book is exceptional. And this episode does focus on the same period of time that is covered in the book. Of course, Arnold's book goes into much more detail than she gets into in this episode, but in either case, the story covers the same period of time, roughly the two years between 2016 and 2018, beginning with Arnold experiencing a traumatic rafting accident through her process of healing.

Arnold studies the teachings of Zen Buddhism and she practices Zen mediation. Weaved throughout Arnold’s story is how her Zen practice manifests in this whole process.

The story, as it is told here, focuses on the power of belief, participating in your own healing, and the interesting dynamic of achieving goals while not clinging to them—or put another way, staying with where you're at instead of focusing on the finish line. 

Keep Up with Katie Arnold

Instagram: @katiearnold


Katie Arnold's books, Brief Flashings in the Phenomenal World and Running Home:

Mentioned in This Episode

Sarah Lavender Smith: Ultramarathon Trail Running Longevity:

Sarah Lavender Smith's website:

Sarah Lavender Smith's newsletter, Colorado Mountain Running & Living

Sarah Lavender Smith book, The Trail Runner's Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running and Racing, from 5Ks to Ultras

Music Credits

Cormac O'Regan, of Playtoh

Lidérc Bell, via Pixabay

Rockot, via Pixabay

penguinmusic, via Pixabay

SergePavkinMusic, via Pixabay

Coma-Media, via Pixabay

chillmore, via Pixabay

RoyaltyFreeMusic, via Pixabay

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Katie Arnold: Zen on the Run

Katie Arnold: Zen on the Run

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