Thursday, March 10, 2011

View from the Back

Running for many of us, is an essential part of our lives. We run for many reasons – for health, for companionship, for glory – the reasons are all as unique as each of us, and yet at heart, all the same. We run because it makes us feel good. We run because we can eat that chocolate cake with the icing that you know is unhealthy – and not look back (except for seconds), knowing that our jeans need not fear the consequence. We want a low resting pulse or blood pressure to die for. Cholesterol? Ha! We are so fit, we squeak.

And we - of the rear brigade, the last frontier, the survivors - know that you don’t have to be fast or even that swift to enjoy all the rewards running bestows upon our slightly sweaty brows. We enjoy those subtleties that the front runners are not even aware of. The outreached hand of that excited child wanting a high five. The flower garden in exquisite bloom. How many of us have stopped at some beautiful sight, a sunrise or a sunset, and rejoiced in the sheer beauty of nature. The great conversations with your fellow runners, the new friends you’ve made. You won’t enjoy these things at a 6 minute pace. But we who embrace running for all its joys, we know these things.

Running teaches you many things. Humility is one. There will always be someone faster and someone slower. Even if you have the distinguished honor of finishing last in a race you still have it over all those who didn’t run in the first place. So be proud of your accomplishments, knowing that you are better for it. The nature of life is that we will all slow down. We, at the Back of the Pack, just have a head start.
~Walt Max

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