Physician and Author on Marathon Running
Physician and Author on Marathon Running
If you want to win anything - a race, yourself, your life - you have to go a little berserk.
There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be.
It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.
There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down — until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.
Like most runners, I always want to do better. I am constantly after myself for eating too much and training too little. I know if I weighed a few pounds less and trained a few hours more, my times would improve. But I find the rewards not quite worth the effort...I am forced, therefore to do the best with what I've got. I must get my speed and distance from the most efficient use of my body.
There is a healthy way to be ill.
Listen to your body. Do not be a blind and deaf tenant.
There will never be a day when we won't need dedication, discipline, energy, and the feeling that we can change things for the better.
Of all the races, there is no better stage for heroism than a marathon.
To know you are one with what you are doing, to know that you are a complete athlete, begins with believing you are a runner.
Once you have decided that winning isn't everything, you become a winner.
We who run (marathons) are different from those who merely study us. We are out there experiencing what they are trying to put into words. We know what they are merely trying to know. They are seeking belief, while we already believe. Our difficulty is in expressing the whole truth of that experience, that knowledge, that belief.
Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.
Why race? The need to be tested, perhaps; the need to take risks; and the chance to be number one.
Running is just such a monastery-- a retreat, a place to commune with God and yourself, a place for psychological and spiritual renewal.
Success rests with having the courage and endurance and above all the will to become the person you are, however peculiar that may be. Then you will be able to say, “I have found my hero and he is me.”
Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.
And while these pounds were being shed, while the physiological miracles were occurring with the heart and muscle and metabolism, psychological marvels were taking place as well. Just so, the world over, bodies, minds, and souls are constantly being born again, during miles on the road.
The answer to the big questions in running is the same as the answer to the big questions in life: do the best with what you've got.
Boredom, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder. ’There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject,’ said Chesterton. ’The only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.
The difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank.
Fitness is a stage you pass through on the way to becoming a racer.
The distance runner is mysteriously reconciling the separations of body and mind, of pain and pleasure, of the conscious and the unconscious. He is repairing the rent, and healing the wound in his divided self. He has found a way to make the ordinary extraordinary; the commonplace unique; the everyday eternal.
For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight.
The music of a marathon is a powerful strain, one of those tunes of glory. It asks us to forsake pleasures, to discipline the body, to find courage, to renew faith and to become one's own person, utterly and completely.