Emily Halnon To The Gorge


Welcome to this week’s story of connection on the Kintsugi Podcast. Today, Emily Halnon, an author, ultra-runner, and FKT badass, shares her emotional journey of grief and the healing power of running.

Conversation Highlights: 

  • Emily opens up about why she turned her experiences of loss and grief into a book, emphasizing the vastness of grief and how a long-distance run across Oregon helped her process these emotions. 
  • Michael and Emily discuss the depths of “To the Gorge,” which, while seemingly about running, is more of a narrative about how to live through grief and loss and embrace life’s full spectrum. 
  • Emily describes her intrinsic traits, experiences that have shaped her, and deep connection with her dog, Dilly. 
  • Emily recounts her and her mother’s battle with devastating diagnoses, reflecting on the unfathomable losses of her family members in a short span, illustrating the harsh, indiscriminate reality of disease. 
  • Transitioning to her running journey, Emily shares how her mother’s transformation into an avid runner inspired her path in endurance sports, reflecting on their shared experiences and the profound connection they cultivated through running. 
  • As Emily discusses her decision to run across Oregon, she explains the motivations behind her run, linking it to the need for a bold, affirming life approach, mirroring how her mother faced life with courage and positivity. 
  • With the community’s support, Emily delves into the details of her record-setting run, highlighting the crucial role of companionship and moral support in tackling such an extreme physical and emotional challenge. 
  • Emily emphasizes the importance of community and sharing moments of joy and struggle, illustrating how relationships and shared experiences can provide strength during challenging times. 
  • Michael and Emily reflect on the profound impact of having supportive figures like Danielle during tough times , discussing the importance of presence and empathy in healing. 
  • The conversation wraps up with Emily expressing gratitude for the communal support that bolstered her during the run, sharing how this experience underscored the value of connection and resilience.

Key Quotes from Emily: 

  • “Grief is a really big experience, and it felt clear that I wanted to say more than I could in a 1500 word essay.” 
  • On community support: “The thing I’m going to get most out of you is just seeing you, is just coming into an aid station, seeing you, high fiving you, hugging you.” 
  • Reflecting on living fully: “I wanted to be living and running with a more open, vulnerable place. That did open me up to more possibilities of disappointment and failure and devastation, but that also invited things like touching the welcome to Washington sign on the bridge of the gods and realizing I could run across Oregon and have the most special, meaningful run of my life.”

The Last Mile: Emily’s story is a powerful testament to the human spirit’s ability to find strength and healing through physical endurance and emotional openness. Her journey encourages us to embrace life fully, even in the face of pain and loss and highlights the indispensable role of community in our lives.

Connect with Emily: 

Website Instagram and her book, To The Gorge

Connect With Michael:

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