Things I learned from running
Runners primary competition is themselves. It’s not like grade school where the last one to finish is ridiculed. Sure, there are jackweeds out there who will, but by and large runners tend to pull for one another. It’s about PR or PB, not trophies. (Personal record or Personal best, for non-runners).
I recall more times than not when I’d be slugging along at my usual slow pace and other runners would pass me and give me words of encouragement and support. The running group I was part of was fantastic for this as there was always someone there at our finish to give a high five and words of encouragement. This camaraderie meant a great deal to a big guy like me who was already self-conscious about myself and running.
Runners are an eclectic bunch. There are not many things runners keep from one another. Discussions can range from actual running to nutrition to bodily functions to just life in general. There are some amusing discussions such as underwear choice (or lack thereof) and trying to locate a place to relieve oneself during a long run with no facilities present. Part of the eclecticism is also ages and body types. There are runners from all age ranges and body types. All share a common bond of running that goes beyond class, age, gender, body type, and other labels we place on ourselves.
Running is a spiritual act. The very act of getting outdoors, urban or rural, is getting in touch with nature and even whatever cosmic deity one believes in. I recall running along a favourite path and seeing deer or chipmunks or other wildlife, hearing birds, and the sound of the nearby river. Stopping just to take in the views along my run. Sometimes I ran with music, but others were just the sounds of nature and my own feet plodding along. One cannot help but feel the hand and pulse of the Creator in moments like that. The sky becoming light while going along a pathway with the colours changing from dark to light. A run in the Autumn with the crisp leaves and air surrounding you. A cold winter run where the sound of your footsteps is muffled by the snow, except for the occasional sound made when you run through fresh snow that has a light frozen top to it.
That’s life, man.