Monday, March 26, 2007

Why Run? Part I

Some people drive by and honk. They sometimes hoot. They sometimes whistle. They sometimes scream, "Get out of the &%$# road!" They sometimes jeer or make a rude comment. They sometimes smile. Unless they are runners themselves, they probably wonder why we risk life and limb on highways and subject ourselves to extreme heat, cold, dog bites, and the endless aches and pains that comes from running.

What possesses people to run? Scores of reasons exist ranging from weight loss to getting faster to just "looking good." My running life started because once I was married with a job, getting together 10 people to play basketball three or four times per week became nigh impossible. After four months of marriage and teaching, I realized during the Christmas break of 2001 that I was out of shape. Not overweight, just under-fit. So, I went to the local discount shoe store and bought a pair of running shoes. I have not really stopped since.

It was not always fun in the beginning. However, I rarely dread a run these days. Much like prayer or studying or martial arts, it is a discipline. And it is a beautiful discipline. Most humans do not need any sort of apparatus to run. In fact, we would not even need shoes if we did not become so reliant upon them at an early age. It is a natural motion unlike many other forms of exercise. There is no gym, pool, weights, bats, balls, gloves, pads, mats, clubs, field, court, pitch, nets, racquets, flags, or anything else required to do it.

It merely requires the will to be in motion. A motion faster than your every day santering. It may last one minute or one hour, but the more it happens, the easier it gets. The results are more fluid motion, better mechanics, faster pace. When one thinks of running in terms of efficiency and fluidity of motion, the terms "fast" and "slow" become a lot less important.

So, do not be "fast" or "slow." Just be in motion.

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