Fancy Running Talk

I just finished Personal Best by Dr. George Sheehan, the foremost philosopher of running. (He and John Bingham are my two favorite running writers.)

I have to share a few quotes in case you are in need of inspiration or motivation.

Sheehan discusses the reasons why he started running at the age of forty-five. He began running because "... I was locked into a routine that utilized only a small percentage of my capabilities, imprisoned in a physical and professional and social existence that no longer allowed me to express my real personality. I ran to find myself." I get that.

On racing, he says the most important thing is "not to excel against others but to excel against yourself.... The real contest is within. The real trophy is the self... becoming a person you can be proud of."

Other gems:

"As luck would have it, or the Creator intended, the sportive use of the body brings its own joys. My body has found in running all it needs to know, or do. I am not upset that it has no other skills. My life needs nothing more."

"We are here to lead a heroic life."

"For me, running has narrowed the distance between what I am and what I can be, between the actual self and the ideal, between aspiration and reality."

"The runner's high is an integral and essential part of our lives. It draws us again and again to escape our humdrum, ordinary, and commonplace real lives."

"The race for me is what the mountain is to the climber, what white water is to the canoeist. The race, where I can be a hero, is a contest where I give my word of honor to go out and do battle with myself. I do not question this impulse. I know it is basic and true. It is the attempt to be myself. I take the risk, seek the challenge, invite the pain. Peace lies beyond the finish line, on the peak of the mountain, just past the rocks, across the turbulent water."

As for the blogging community, I think this quote says it all: (not that there was a blogging community when this book was published in 1989)

"When I became a runner, I found these new friends, those whose hearts and souls and intellects and, yes, even faces and bodies somehow resembled mine. Friends who had felt what I was now feeling, known what I was coming to know, and written in words that rang with MY truth." That may be my favorite one of all!


Lisa said…
Love these. I'm going to use one on my blog and link back to you :)
Michelle said…
Awesome quotes! I may have to find that book!
Stacey said…
Great quotes! Thanks for sharing them. Have a great weekend!
Kelly said…
Great quotes... thanks for sharing!
Anonymous said…
I especially liked the last one.