from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.
Lao-Tzu

Sunday, November 04, 2007

living the immediate moment

Marathon Maniac and all, I still do not like running. But, I have to admit, I have ceased to mind it. I am troubled by the energy it takes away from my writing, in more than one way - the time, the energy, the focus. But there are trade-offs. I learn from each race, sometimes even from each individual run.

I learned it's no good use to look forward to the moment when it's over. You have to stay with it. You have to live in the run, with the expenditure of effort, as it unfolds each step, as if it were precious in itself - minute by minute, hour by hour. The end will come, on its own, unavoidably, without superfluous anticipation. I am an advocate of living in the present moment, but I have not applied my belief to running, not until lately. If you stay with it, with the simplicity of each step, with the endurance of the advance, you get to the end much sooner than expected.

The insignificance of time passing is not a new concept for me, but to experience it in the body as miles accrue behind is a novelty. If I can keep this insight in mind during future long runs and upcoming marathons, if I can keep this belief centered in my body, I will learn more in spirit. Not about long distance running, but about the art of living.

About the quality of our lives that transcends time.

11 Comments:

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

Running always has something to teach us - maybe about the world, maybe about a friend, maybe about the self, maybe about life. It is an amazing and time-consuming thing.

 
At 4:05 AM, Blogger Lora said...

You've become a Maniac??? WOW!! You wild thang, you!!

Running does teach us lots about life..forging onwards, even when we want to just curl up in a ball in our beds. Not giving up...and on and on.

Congrats on making this a part of your life! It's addicting, huh?

 
At 7:45 AM, Blogger Pure Virtual Function said...

OMG! 4 marathons already! I ran my first just before you and am only at 2. =) Way to go! My wife would kill me if I ever tried the Maniac thing... she thinks all runners are crazy... I don't want to certify that. =) Congrats Lia... that is a huge accomplishment.

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

You're a dedicated distance runner AND a wonderful writer. A great combination I'd say.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger JustRun said...

Once I had been running consistently for about a year, maybe less, I realized the same thing. There's a lot more to learn out there than just one foot in front of the other. Metaphors abound! :)

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

I think you are very similar to me. Maybe it's not the love of running you are seeking, but the joy of suffering. Some around these parts have dubbed it, "Hester Joy."

 
At 4:01 AM, Anonymous Renegate said...

If you stay in the present, you show the god Time the respect he deserve, I think. If you rich in your mind for the final of the race, as a metaphor of competing anything, the time will “compress” under your will, and the pain should be intensified. Some say the Way toward the goal is more important than the End, the Achievement of it. It might be truth in running, as in life.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Joe said...

True. True. I must apply that principle to my swimming too.

 
At 4:15 PM, Anonymous renegate said...

Maybe one can think at something as “interior time”. The time the body is actually living might be different from the one our conscious mind perceive it, and definitely from the one your wristwatch measures. Some say time goes form the future toward the past and not the other way around. If one consider this hypothesis, than focusing on the future means putting pressure on time to run faster, and this might “overheat” your body and mind. That's why, running “in your own time" might be so important, if you see this in a philosophical way.

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Annette said...

Ahh the reluctant runner. . . and yet, she's a MANIAC! Go figure. :) Don't think of it as time away from writing. I often compose things to write while I run. I have plenty of time to write and rewrite in my head. Do think of the benefits it has brought you. You've gotten so much stronger in many ways. Embrace it, runner! :)

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Ela said...

Well, if this is a maniac, then maniacs are great and you are great!!! I'm very happy for you!
And each report is a new novel. Go on with both... do not stop, just forge on and on.

 

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