Whatever training you are about to undertake, whatever your state of mind, whatever distance you are going to run, running is an act of discovery and solitude. But also discovered in solitude.
Ground Control to Major Tom
Before departure there is always the excitement of travel, the desire to discover new things about ourselves, the world around us, and our limitations. Both physical and mental. The race you’re about to run has always something unknown about it, you don’t know how it’s going to be or what’s going to happen; you just feel like getting started.
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (two, one, liftoff)
Time to go. The exploration, the journey, begins. And what you will find you will find out shortly. The first moments of running (for me) are pure joy, vitality, fun, excitement just like before going on a trip. No matter the route, it might be the one I have done many times before but it will always be different, because I am different, because I will meet different people, because the fatigue will be different.
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do
At this point you’re outside, you’re running, listening to your body and observing what’s around you. You are a spectator with a special eye, you feel special. You are just like that.
When you run, you see things differently because your sensibilities change: your muscles require all the oxygen and sugar you have; your brain adjusts by focusing on a few thoughts and changing your perceptions. And you, a little bit, feel like a distant and detached observer.
And when I say “you,” I mean me, you and those who run. Now–if you want–listen to the original version of Space Oddity by David Bowie, as it came out onJuly 11, 1969 and as he remade it a few years later (which I personally prefer).
Happy running and may God’s love be with you.
(the main image is from a scene in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)