Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hand-me-downs: Philosophy

This is just a rambling bambling bumbling attempt at summing up my running-with-the-dead philosophy. Sorry if it is hokey, smokey. First, here is what it isn't. . .
  • Running with the Dead isn't about time. Or mileage. Or your killer training schedule. Or some stupid medal. Or even finishing the race. It's never about something you can brag about. It's a humbling, ego-bashing, embarrassing slog.

  • Running with the Dead isn't about pain. Or masochism. Or some group-concocted survival game. Even though I seem to revel in this aspect of running. Nope. That's not it either.

  • Running with the Dead isn't about proving something. Hell, I already ran a stupid marathon. This isn't about being a man. Or manning up. Or a test of manhood. Or some manly man-like man crud. That was all tossed out the window after M showed me up for the ten-thousandth time.

Okay. Here is what it is. . .
  • Running with the Dead is about committing yourself. Even if you think it is completely ridiculous. Even if somebody else dragged you into it (and it's not your fault!) Even if the prospect of doing so raises a constant and irrational fear of death.

  • Running with the Dead is about finding depth in your miserable life. Even if what you are doing is even more miserable. Whether it's running, crappy work, slave labor, mundane day-to-day bullshit. Whatever. Find something. Anything. Listen to the Dead. Find lost treasure. Dive in. Suck it in your lungs. Don't let go until you find something.

  • Running with the Dead is about doing something by yourself. Alone and by your own design. Even if you end up off trail. For this one, I'll let the Dead speak (from Ripple):

    There is a road, no simple highway
    Between the dawn and the dark of night
    And if you go no one may follow
    That path is for your steps alone

    You who choose to lead must follow
    But if you fall you fall alone
    If you should stand then who's to guide you?
    If I knew the way I would take you home

  • Running with the Dead is about M. Yeah, I can't really generalize this one. It is blatantly personal. But it's true. There is something about our dynamic. And I haven't figured out exactly what. Maybe I will by the end of this marathon.

So there you go... Nothing too pithy. Okay... now back to the fun!

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