Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Run or Die: A Book Review and Reflection on a Very BIG Question


RUN or DIE – Killian Jornet

This book came into my life (I had it on hold at the library for some time) at a very “coincidental” point in my running.  To be honest, I had forgotten why I ran.  I just didn’t know what the point was anymore, and my motivation was lacking.  I know I’ve talked about the meaning of running in past blogs, but I was/am looking for the big “WHY?”  I may have had the answer before, but that answer lied with an older version of me.  Now with changing thoughts, I needed an answer with even more meaning.  Thinking about running, or even going for a run, left one huge screaming question at me “What is the point!?”, especially after considering a seemingly dismal racing season that included my first DNF and a decision to not run MMTR.  With that, I almost didn’t even want to open the book. However, Killian quickly raised my question in RUN or DIE and was alluded to in most of the book.  In addition, I was somewhat put off and intrigued in reading that Killian’s passion for running wasn’t so “pure” as I had thought…he did think about competition, even analyzing races and going over game plans in detail. Now I can look back at that as not good or bad, that is just how it is.

Anyway, my “answer”, or Killian’s answer, never came out straight forth. Deep down I knew that it wouldn’t be.  It is not a question that has a definable answer, especially when it will be different for everyone.

My old reasons still have truth.  I do run because I believe it makes me a better person, because it is my tool for learning, and opportunity to inspire others, and something I love doing.

But does that love count when sometimes I’d like to stay wrapped under my covers or procrastinate in the heat of my car before opening my door and getting Pacer out of the back?

Or what about the other day as I was almost cringing in agony as others discussed my running career as admirable, when I think of my past races with pride for overcoming the pain, but the times and actual win as unimpressive.  I felt like anything but a runner at that point.

And yet today I went for a run, Pacer at my side, and I felt like a runner…and not just a runner, but an adventurer.  I ran slowly when I felt like it, and a little faster at other times.  I even let out a holler at the top of one ridge line, happy to be running and alive.

Is it enough to run (and run more than as a simple hobby or exercise routine) simply because it is good for my body, for my mind, and my spirit- even when it has no direct affect on others?  It is enough to run because I love the act of it, and the vibration of joy I send out from my spirit in my strides seeps into the energy of the world? Is it okay if I don’t have a solid answer to give?

Im pretty sure I won’t die if I don’t run, but I think Killian meant the title as being more than that anyway. Because, in the end, running isn’t really just running.

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