Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Runners Guide to the Meaning of Life - Amby Burfoot


"Running has its roots in our prehistory. We don't run because Baron de Coubertin invented the modern Olympic Games in 1896, but because our survival once depended upon it and, to a lesser extent, still does. Millenia ago, small packs of early man stalked game for food on the plains of East Africa, chasing for a while, then resting, then chasing again until their hapless prey was exhausted and could escape no more."

"To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind." - Jerome Drayton, Canadian winner of the 1977 Boston Marathon

"I have learned that there is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving. It's not about speed and gold medals. It's about refusing to be stopped. You might find that one particular direction proves difficult, but there are many directions on a compass. Infinite, in fact. As long as you keep searching, you'll find your winning way."

" You don't need any skill to run. In golf, by contrast, you have to hit your drives straight enough to stay in the fairway, and that requires thinking about a dozen technical details of your golf swing. In tennis, you'd better master the backhand stroke, or your rallies will be short. In swimming...well, you'll drown if you don't develop some skills.
Not so with running. Every 3-year-old knows how to run. At the same time, running is the most vigorous excercise known to science. It forces your heart to pump vast quantities of blood throughout your body - including your brain. So the brain's getting all this oxygen at a time when it doesn't have any work to do. You're just running. You're not putting together business plans, solving quadratic equations, or trying to keep your drive from slicing off the fairway.
No wonder the brain spins out most fantastical thoughts while you're running. No wonder fresh, creative ideas pop into your head when you're least expecting them. No wonder millions of runners consider their workouts the perfect time to reenergize both their bodies and their minds."

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