Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More good stuff from RW beginners forum

Poster Falco writes:

"There’s a stretch of road that I run on that is long and straight and seems to go on forever. I used to hate it, but now it’s my favorite place. See I don’t have to do anything, just run. I don’t have to avoid dogs, dodge traffic, or encounter potholes. It’s just me and the road.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Last night while I was on that stretch I began to think how powerfully simple this all is. We ask our body to run and it does…at first not far…but then over time it becomes this machine. A simple perfect machine. Breathe in, breathe out. One foot and another. An endless repetition of a series of moves that propels you further and further along. And the miracle of the human body is that it responds by carrying you further and further until one day you show up at work and say, “I ran eight miles yesterday” and all the jaws drop. Yes…you did. Something that your co-workers consider positively superhuman. You did it. You may not look like a superhuman, but at that moment you are.

My mind flashes back to a conversation I’ve had about running. Every run is a test; a test to see what you are made of. Do you have it in you today? Here on the road there is no way to cheat. It’s simple, you either run it or you don’t. Either you win or the road wins. And no matter how sick you are, no matter how tired you are, the road still asks, do you have it in you? Even if you had a great run yesterday, the road is still out there today and today you have to prove what you are made of. When Oprah ran the marathon folks said, yeah, but she had a personal trainer. Yeah, but she has a personal chef. Right, but no one can run it for her. She took every step herself. And you…well you take every step yourself.

Breathe in, breathe out.

The road doesn’t care if you are good looking, smart, young, old The test is the same. What do you have in you today? Some days you come home glowing with accomplishment. Other days you lose. You feel fat, heavy, out of shape, tired. Well meaning friends say “why do you do that to yourself?” but you know…you aren’t doing it TO yourself, you are doing it FOR yourself.

Breathe in, breathe out. Scuff, scuff, scuff, scuff, scuff. Individually the movements are simple, even amateurish. Collectively though, they are powerful.

Along the way you lose things. Some of you have lost weight. I haven’t. But I’ve lost that voice I call the “inner loser” who tells you all the reasons why you can’t run. (you’re too old, too fat, too tired, too sick, you just ran yesterday). My inner loser can’t run more than a mile. I leave him beside the road early in my runs these days.

You lose the stress of the day. No matter how bad your day is, you sweat out all those problems on a long run. You shut off the voices. You silence the chatter. Just you and the road, alone.

Breathe in, breathe out.

I know we all have goals. Five k goals and marathon goals and negative splits. But on your next run let me encourage you to just run and enjoy the simple pleasure of running. No watch, no time limit, you’re not going anywhere, you’re not getting anywhere. You just are…a simple lone runner…on a long stretch of road.

I’ll see you out there.

1 comment:

TX Runner Girl said...

Love it! By the way, I was catching up on the past few days and it sounds like you are doing great! Way to go!