Reasons to Run, Part OneJuly 16, 2006
About ten years ago, I wrote down the following list.
WHY DO I RUN?
1. To develop a sense of where I am; to learn the local geography and topology;
2. To maintain a respectable level of general fitness;
3. To keep my weight down, and to increase my appetite so that I can eat a lot;
4. To refresh my mind when it grows tired of science and other weighty topics;
5. To channel my competitive instincts into something healthy;
6. To find out, with the aid of a stopwatch, exactly how well I’m doing; to experience the singular joy of having run a race faster than ever before;
7. To enjoy my body’s capacity for change, and to explore the limits of that capacity;
8. To be faithful to a daily habit; to give my life a comforting sense of order, regularity, and periodicity;
9. To be part of a team; to help others develop as runners and in turn be helped by them, and to enter a social milieu where others share my interest in running and enjoy discussing it;
10. To feel physically capable and physically attractive;
11. To earn recognition, respect, and admiration;
12. Because it feels so good when I stop.
Unlike some other things I wrote during the mid-90s, this little essay (or whatever you want to call it) still rings true. My reasons for running now are the same as my reasons for running then, with one notable exception … to be discussed in Part Two.
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P.S. The website is once again accepting comments; apologies to anyone who tried to leave a comment between Friday and this morning.