The Cycle of Inspiration
Day #66: Running to be inspired… to run!
Do you remember your first run ever? For me, the question drums up two specific memories. The first – driving in our old, green Mercedes convertible – my dad’s baby – over to the local high school’s cinder track. Dad was going for an impossible 5 miles on the track and a couple of us boys tagged along. We goofed off in the bleachers for a while, but then I decided to try to go a mile with my dad. 1,2,3 laps completed … limping slowly now — and the fourth finished. 1 mile! For this 7 year old, that was a big deal. My dad’s 20 laps, an unthinkable marathon.
The second run that comes to mind, I spoke about in my first podcast. A five-miler, my first with the cross-country team. I was out running because a skiing injury to my wrist kept me off of the lacrosse field. On this again impossible 5-mile run, I was officially initiated into the ranks of runners. An upper classman, Carlos, my mentor at the time and the school’s most renowned runner to date, led me through the fire: “Run quietly – try to make no sound with your feet,” he wisely coached me. And so a spark was fired and a fire kindled.
Do you remember when that spark first ignited to flame for you? Most likely, some mentor of your own encouraged you and coached you along – bringing you into the rarefied runner’s society. And since that first date with distance, your relationship with running has grown and matured… and, no doubt, from time to time, faltered.
We all waver in our commitment to running at points in our striving. Daylight Savings strikes, 4:30a.m. comes too quickly, life’s tuggings pin you down and the cold calls you to stay put and give up the goal of running daily. And you lay there resigned to let the flame flicker in the unshakeable, fickle wind. Maybe to be extinguished, perhaps not…
Yet let’s not succumb to the tired hand of destiny. Not in our running! Let’s, instead, rise and roll. Let’s look back to our first effort and remember the bliss of being in the run. Running is what happens when we lose ourselves beyond the simple mechanics of one foot in front of the other — and it all becomes a fluid high. We know this, for this is why we addicted runners keep coming back to our painful fount of inspiration. Knowing the difficulty, we love better the pure bliss of the run. Be it a dark, cold and damp morning and we trudging by headlamp-light, or be it an outing in paradise here in my home on California’s central coast, the sun out, the soothing heat on the shoulders, the gentle breeze and the awesome vistas… wherever it is that we run, let us remember – in those toughest moments when we don’t want to go – the first inspiration. The reason we began. In so doing, we will be ignited to connect again today’s distance run with tomorrow’s.