I was thinking this morning about running. While thinking on the subject, a grand vision appeared in my mind. A wonderful and true landscape of beautiful running. As I sat there in thought regarding why us adults hate exercise so much, I was reminded by the vision of a wonderful time in my/our lives.
When I was young and in grade school, we had recess time. I think we all must have had it. In my little vision I recalled a most common phenomenon about recess. IT IS THE SPRINT! When we got out of class for recess, practically every kid big and small sprinted as fast as they could the short distance to get to the playground of the school. It was only maybe 20-100 yards depending on what classroom you were in. But we all ran together, we all ran hard, we all ran with complete and utter joy. I remember running with everyone else. I remember laughing histerically inside about all of us running. I loved it but what was the point. I even thought that as a kid. Why were we in such a hurry to get to a place that was so close. Walking could have gotten us there probably only one minute slower. In fact, the teachers were probably yelling at us not to run until we got there. But we did. We ran because it felt good. We ran because it invigorated us for more play and exercise. We ran for the increased joy that it brought us for our short time at recess. We ran because it gave us the most bang for our buck time wise.
Sometime later, as I/we got older and started going to highschool, all of a sudden this joyful activity seemed stupid. It seemd uncool to run as fast as you could to go do more exercise. But still, even at that older age, running was easier and not such an evil to trudge through. And still as time passed us by even more, running became something of a long lost memory where I could only remember coming in last in the one mile trial with all my friends in P.E. It became something you did as torture for football and basketball practice. IT BECOME BORING AND TIDIOUS. IT WAS NOT FUN ANYMORE.
What happened to the meaning and joy of running? What happened to us is the real question. Running has not changed really. It is the same as when humans first started doing it to get food and what-not.
Here is what running is to me when I can remember it’s novelty.
- Running is the great escape. It was the release from the pressure of the classroom to start a fun filled 30 minutes. It is still the wonderful release from a pressure filled adult workday. It leads me into fulfilling thoughts and feelings. It helps me, even if only for 30 minutes, to forget the junk and remember the basic joy of movement and life.
- Running is the opportunity to live right now. When I am running, I am living right then. Right at that moment I am alive. I am not weighed down. I am flying high. Nothing else matters. Just the pitter-patter of my feet taking me away.
- Running is fun and joyfull. When the weather is nice and the spring times flowering is exploding, I glide along the country roads of my home town with a grateful heart. I take in the beauty of it all. In a sense, I become part of the big explosion of life. I take part in the growth and the life.
- Running means “I CAN” more than “I CAN’T”. No matter what the pace, running is an opportunity to know that I can and I did. I got out there and did it. Not because I had to, not because I am obligated, but only because I CAN. Just like recess and the playground only being 100 yards away. As kids, we ran because we could. We ran because it enhance the whole thing of recess. We ran because we wanted to. When running to recess, we all went as fast as we could but there was not first or last, we all just got there and kept having fun.