Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Beauty of Running

Some people create with words, or with music, or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, "I've never seen anyone run like that before." It's more than just a race, it's style. It's doing something better than everyone else. It's being creative.--Steve Prefontaine

I have a choice whether or not I run. But I run because I don't really have a choice. When I wake up in the morning, I look over at my wife and then I get into... the process. I grab the running clothes that I set up on the floor. By set up I mean, threw in the corner of my bedroom. They are clean but there is no reason to keep my running gear well presented for running at 4am. I could probably do this entire thing blindfolded. I rise to my feet because I crawled from my bed, to my phone, across the room. If I leave my phone too close I will not actually wake up to run. I am a heavy sleeper. I can turn off my phone alarm and never realize that I did.

The awesome thing about it is that this is all muscle memory. The clothes, the bathroom, the music, shoes, keys, out the door. In New Jersey, I lived in a house and I walked down the stairs as if, "a man had to do what a man had to do". In Atlanta, I live in a building with a long corridor. I walk down the hallway like the astronauts in "The Right Stuff". Albeit in oddly bright, form fitting clothing. That walk however sets me apart from those in the world that cannot understand why we do what we do.

Running is an activity that one can presumably do every day. The beauty of the run exists in all aspects of the run. The foot strike to the pattern of breathing. A runner's full gait cycle is like a snowflake... no two are alike. There are moments when I feel like I am floating and the run is as effortless as the blink of an eye. There are other times your foot pounding on the ground feels, well, like it's pounding on the ground. Oftentimes I can feel the air moving in and out of my lungs. A runner is very in tune with their body.

Running is also largely based on science. I imagine that all sports are based in scientific findings but it appears as though running is more rooted in science than many other popular sports. Things that make the most sense in football can have zero impact on the outcome of a game. Most of the legendary coaches like Bowerman, Lydiard, Cerutty, and Daniels created a winning formula because of what they were able to do with the human body.

The ad in the 1977 back cover of Runner's World magazine read, "There Is No Finish Line". This ad was taken out by Nike and the thing that really caught my attention wasn't the paragraph on it. It was the picture of a lone runner on a long road to... who knows?


  1. Not everyone can do all of these things together, training, career, family, and social life. We must determine the order of priorities and establish a training schedule based on the sequence in order to still have a balanced life, especially family, thanks

    1. I've never met anyone that can do all of these things. And frankly, those that say that they can is likely not doing a very good job in a particular area.