Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why to run

I loved, loved, loved this op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about running. It perfectly captured what runners know and non-runners often don't get. I'm particularly partial to the part that details the odd pride runners take in the semi-masochistic side of the activity. My own armchair analysis of why this excites us is because it confirms we're truly alive and can face anything.
At the Olympic trials in Charlotte, N.C., in 1996, marathoner Bob Kempainen vomited a bright green stream of Gatorade on national television, then calmly accelerated (running a 4:44 mile) and sprinted to victory. World record-holder Grete Waitz did her business on the side of the road, then pulled up her shorts and went on to win the 1984 New York City Marathon. Every runner has a tale about a port-a-potty just missed, a coffee that wouldn't stay down, a blister that burst and filled a sock with blood. We tell the stories with pride, metaphors for our own indomitability.
Confession: I searched Google to find a clip of Kempainen. It made it into a Nike commercial.

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