Saturday, June 19, 2010


A few weeks ago, I lost my running shoes and in the week that followed I felt a real sense of loss. I found it perplexing I would feel so down about it. I could easily supplement my workout regime with more gym time. I've been running for a long time, off and on throughout high school and college. My parents were runners. While I have played other sports, I've always considered running my thing too.

For me running isn't deep or philosophical. I see the potential for meditation in a long forest run. There's certainly a physical and spiritual freedom when you're running alone. But I usually spend the time thinking about petty disputes or math problems.

It is probably the simplest physical sport in existence since it's a modified formula of walking. As soon as kids master walking, running to their destinations is the next logical progression. It's natural fun. It get's you where you are going, but faster! It's the integral component to most sports and games. It's hard to explain, why people love getting themselves so sweaty by elevating their velocity for a set period of time, but it's really enjoyable. I just got a new pair of Asics. To work them in, I sprinted up and down my street for a mile and half. It was exhilarating. I flew down the street and felt like Hermes as I raced the cars and buses passing by.

I can still vaguely recall my lonely high school days. After classes ended on the crisp electric fall days, the cross country team would begin its practice. I'd go running all over Washington Township. My hands glowed red from the cold. The drab brown leaves crunched beneath my feet. My shins knocked against the pavement of the road or the woodchips in that park trails. Often it would rain, and my extremities would just freeze. The races were always punishing, and always forced me to find some hidden reserves around the 2.5 mile mark.

At times I never felt so miserable, and in hindsight I was never happier during my adolescence.

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