“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by Blake Dyason.

A few months ago my friends Jacques Von Wielligh and David Papenfus asked me to help them make a short film to enter the Trails in Motion film festival. Making the film about running taught me more than I ever expected it would.

I have always wanted to make a video. I filmed myself cycling across Malawi, among many other adventures, but I have never been able to put all the footage I have together into a short film. This was my opportunity to learn and potentially share a message.

We picked our date and ventured out just past Franschhoek to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Jacques helped to build some of the trail, which crosses rivers, passes waterfalls and takes you up to some seriously high peaks with endless views.

I was in my element, running trails and playing in nature while Jacques and David did the hard work filming, attaching GoPros and flying a drone. I had no idea what they wanted to capture but I could see the excitement on their faces. They knew something I didn’t.

David spent the rest of the week editing the video while I tried to write a script. That Friday I popped in at Sound Surgeon Studios, I thought this was just a friend doing us a favour, I had no idea this was the real deal, with TV screens up, sound booths and fancy microphones and headsets.

Morne from Sound Surgeons calmed me down and took me though everything. We had so much fun and I suddenly gained huge respect for actors, film makers and sound engineers.

Making this short film made me reflect. Trail running has changed me. Nothing else matters when I’m in these mountains; it’s just me and nature.

I’ve learnt to appreciate the small things in life, to be happy with who I am and to push my own limits.

This is my escape from the rat race of life. This is what makes me feel alive.