Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The place to live


An excerpt from A. J. Mandell, 1977:

The first thirty minutes are tough, old man. Creaks, twinges, pain, and stiffness. A counterpoint of breathless, painful self-depreciation. Like driving a mule. You brain-heavy jerk. Keep going! Challenged, I smile with pride and follow my orders. The first thirty minutes hurt until the body gets the message that you're serious.

Thirty minute out, and something lifts. Legs and arms become light and rhythmic. My snake brain is making the best of it. The fatigue goes away and feelings of power begin. I think I'll run twenty-five miles today. I'll double the size of the research grant request. I'll have that talk with the dean...

Then, sometime into the second hour comes the spooky time. Colors are bright and beautiful, water sparkles, clouds breathe, and my body, swimming, detaches from earth. A loving contentment invades the basement of my mind, and thought bubbles without trails. I find the place I need to live if I'm going to live. The running literature says that if you run six miles a day for two months, you are addicted forever. I understand. A cosmic view and peace are located between six and ten miles of running. I've found it everywhere....

After the run I can't use my mind. It's empty. Then a filling begins. By afternoon I'm back into life with long and smooth energy, a quiet feeling of strength, the kind wisdom afforded those without fear, those detached yet full.


2 comments:

Derrick said...

very good...takes 40mins for me though:)

Buttons said...

Oh Sara this is such a beautiful written post. I am so happy for you. You have truly found your place.
I find mine back in the bush. Running sounds fantastic. It is like my hiking, and the hard farm work combined. B