While I am moving while running, it is running that moves me in deeper ways that meditation could never give me. Running is my way to confront the self, but to find more that is hidden within me. I am seeking, striding, solving, negotiating, hurting, conquering, coping and -- ultimately -- living.
Non-runners don't understand. I get that now. In my years as a long distance runner, I've watched the running community repeatedly dismissed. One old example is Ted McClelland, who wrote in 2007 how the marathon was being ruined by slow runners.
Even as the sport continues to grow, capturing more women, more city dwellers and more participants at races, the naysayers feel compelled to -- shall I say -- dismiss the movement. Oh, you want 26 reasons not to run the marathon?
Just this past week, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed by a man who can't stand the 26.2 stickers, the 13.1 labels he sees on car bumpers. Chad Stafko, in essence, says running is an act of self-absorption, for showing off more than anything else.
I have a theory. There is no more visible form of strenuous exercise than running. When runners are dashing down a street in the middle of town or through a subdivision, they know that every driver, every pedestrian, every leaf-raker and every person idly staring out a window can see them.
Mark Remy over at Runner's World does a takedown of Chad, much like I did of Ted McClelland in 2007, so there is no need for rebuttal, but I wanted to reinforce a few simple truths, some small reasons why we run.