Thursday, December 02, 2004

Why run a marathon?

Good question. Why would someone voluntarily run 26 miles, 385 yards?

First of all, you have to love running. Running is so much more than the simple act itself. Running is self-improvement. Teaching my body to do new things. Running fast. Running far. Racing. Jogging.

But running can also be meditation. A long run forces you to be in a certain mindset for an hour, or two, or three.

Running is freedom. Like in the movie "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner". He's not really lonely when he's running (he's lonely when he's around people who want to use him), but he feels the exhilaration of running.

Running is a connection to the earth. Our feet dance along trails and we celebrate our body's physical connection to the ground. No treadmills! I sing the body running.

Running can give you insight into problems. It's not that you run away from problems -- running to escape reality. Running gives you perspective. It clears your mind. Enables you to see things in a new light. I love the time immediately after a good run, as I walk around the neighborhood and stretch a bit. My mind just seems more open to new ideas.

I love running for all these reasons. But it has also been the reward for a year's worth of diligent work at losing weight. Those who know me know how much weight I have lost this year. This marathon is the cherry on top.

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