Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Ties That Bind

Perhaps some of you out there can relate to the following.There was a time,now many years ago,I viewed myself as one of the minority. I was a runner but one who lived for running,one who strove for excellence in competition. I believed I trained more seriously then most and I felt I was hardcore when it came to the way I approached all aspects of running.Although I didn't dislike "joggers," or what some call fun runners,I certainly believed I was on a whole different level as far as the running experience goes. It would be safe to say I suffered from some elitist perceptions as far as who I was and what they were. Of course those feelings were not unique just to me,they still exist in many others,it only takes a visit to a few of the large internet running forums to see proof of this.
However, as the years have gone by,I've mellowed my views and perceptions. Advancing age has a way of doing that,But, I will add that I am as involved and committed to running as I was 25 years ago when I was "hardcore." This blog entry today was prompted by an experience I had recently training.As I ran easily down the street,I saw a runner coming towards me from the other direction. As I often do, perhaps because I have coached and been a runner for so long,I watched how this runner moved,sort of evaluated her form and probably was also trying to get a gauge on her level of "seriousness." As we passed she said with a smile,"hey,good morning!" she then held out her hand for a kind of sidearm high five.I was touched by the genuineness she exhibited,just one runner sharing the moment with another on a beautiful morning. I then got to thinking how all of us who love to run and get out there everyday are really not that different.We all share the same feelings and emotions when it comes to running and racing.
No matter the skill level we all share the following:
The pleasure felt from a quiet early morning run.
The pain sometimes experienced during a strenuous workout.
The anxious anticipation of a race that is about to start.
The agony of the closing stages of a hard run race.
The frustration of not reaching our goals or finishing "poorly."
The determination to continue on after those less than satisfying performances.
The absolute joy of running well or setting a personal record.
The inability to conceive of a life that doesn't involve running.
OK,I think you all see what I'm getting at,the above is a sample of the many,many reasons as to why distance running is such a great sport. For those who may want to hang on to their elitist mindset I say this, if you are fortunate to stay in this sport long enough; you,we, eventually all of us become joggers........again, and that's not a bad thing.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice essay and commentary. Gets to the essence of the sport we love.