Why I run

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With just a few other pleasures, running is part of my nature. It is something which I could barely exist without. I run to feel the air cool and my body warm. I run because I want to and because I can. Running has repeatedly surprised me, it has shaken me out of the torpor of daily living. It has strengthened my body and prepared me for days which might otherwise have been stressful or long. At times when I have had to devote every mental effort to a task, running has kept me well.

I have run for the indulgence of physical companionship and I have run to be alone. I have run for the challenge of testing myself, whether against arbitrary goals (such as the time on a stopwatch) or against flesh and blood rivals. I have run selfishly and aggressively at time, I admit, and I have run collectively as part of a team. Running has given me a measure against which to judge myself and others. It has even taught me something of what it means to live well.

I run to live, and when I have run fast my body has been lifted in joy.

[from my book Lives; Running: now available to order from Bookmarks or Amazon]

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