Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Subjectively I am a Good Runner

Now I know that by all objective criteria, every single measure you care to think of, I am an undistinguished runner. I am not particularly fast, I do not have exceptional endurance and I lack compensating fortitude. In any race the most I can aspire to is middle. However that does no matter because subjectively I am really quite good.

This does not mean I run along imagining I am better than I am or pretending I am someone like Roger Banister breaking 4 minutes - that would be silly! (One of the things I like about running is its total honesty; you can only run as well as your conditioning, with no excuses). It means that I can run well enough to feel enriched.

I can run long enough and comfortably enough to get an enhanced sense of place, whether in woods or hills, alongside rivers or canals. I have this strange belief the to appreciate somewhere you have to be physically engaged, and running does this. Also it gives me space to think, it is both stimulating an calming and when you hit a rhythm your mind can just freewheel. At the same time it is always directly showing you what kind of person you are - your mental attitude and the way your body works And then finally when you finish, you can feel a sense of peace and emptiness - in other words it is a preparation for meditation.

All these things I can manage, which is why I think that subjectively I am quite good at running. Others can have glory and achievement but if I can gain a few moments of contentment then I am successful.


b-z said...

you are better at running than me

Highway Kind said...

I don't think so - I haven't a fraction of your guts and determination.

All I claim is that I can move about enough to find some inner satisfaction

womble said...

I tend to judge how stressed I am by how long it takes me into a run to stop thinking about 'things'. It's great being able to think about your body and how it's working (or not!), looking at the scenery, the wild life. Even if it's hard at times, I can really enjoy those other parts of running.