Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reason vs Decision

I'm always on the lookout for new blogs and while I'm still on the fence about VanessaRuns overall, I did find this really striking:
I actually believe that there is NO good reason for running 100 miles. But I also believe that I don’t need one.
I love the distance. I love training for and running 100s. And that is enough. I don’t need to lose weight from it and I don’t need to earn money from it. I just need to run.
We live in a world now where everything requires a purpose and an explanation, otherwise it’s useless. Exercise must have a direct benefit in order to be worth our time. Not surprisingly, we are more sickly and sedentary than ever
Instead of going outside, we sit around and reason that there is not enough of a physical or financial benefit in ultra running. But I believe ultra running is more of an art, not a job.
Nobody asks:
  • Why we go to a ballet
  • Why we listen to an orchestra
  • Why we visit art galleries
  • Why we appreciate music
Or for that matter:
  • Why go to a movie on opening night?
  • Why watch a sunrise?
  • Why pet a puppy?
There is no logic or reason behind these things, but they feed our souls. They make us human.
And ultra running makes me human. It’s the one thing I don’t need to explain. And I don’t think I should be asked.
There's more to her post and I do believe it's worth reading. I've done some pretty whacked out things in my life for no reason beyond "because I want to" or "because it's the right thing for me right now" so I'm feeling a lot of resonance with her words.

Why am I running?

Well I enjoy that I'm getting fit, but given my initial knee woes there are other ways to get fit that would probably have made more sense. I enjoy that I'm getting out of my cave but I could just as easily go fly kites or go fishing for several hours a week. I like the community but there's a whole lot of bars or knitting blogs and gathers to be found (not that I bar hop, kite, fish, or knit, but whatever).

As I mentioned in yesterday's post I haven't always picked the things that  make "the most sense" for me to focus on. Relying on the power of logical motivations has not always been the strongest source of personal drive for me (says the ex-smoker). Then again if we always had that kind of discipline we'd be living highly structured lives in a Brave New World style dystopia and research psychologists would be really bored.

I am running because I want to run.

Ultimately that is the solitary thing that has made the difference between doing it and not doing it. How many times do we say that we want to do something that we think will be positive (losing weight, quitting smoking, joining that book club) but all the logic and reasoning in the world means bupkis until you actually make that decision. Was there any reason not to make the decision earlier? Probably not really, except that you just didn't.

Though I will say that anyone who doesn't understand the logic or reason behind petting a puppy apparently has a different understanding of what the word "puppy" means than I do.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

-Bernard Baruch (frequently miss-attributed to Dr Seuss)

Randomly: I got my first friction burn yesterday! The belt I use to hold my house key (and mace) rode up to my waist and as I ran it rubbed a nickel sized spot on my mid back raw. I felt it stinging in the shower but couldn't see it until today because a) I'm rather blind (especially behind me) and b) it is on a tattoo.

I'm strangely jazzed by this.

Day 26 What is one area of your fitness that you’d like to improve upon?

While flexibility has probably always been my main focus, I think the thing I'd most like to improve on at the moment is my endurance.

I do find this to be a pretty funny juxtaposition with the rest of my post above but I guess if I like doing something raising my endurance means I can do it more!


  1. HAHA You just wait until the chaffing is on the underside of your boobs and it feels like they are ON FIRE when you get in the shower. Jazzed is not what I expect you to be :)

    1. As long as it's no worse than the armpit poi burns I should be fine. :p

      My system was still a bit up from running and I didn't feel the belt after the first minute or so, so I just couldn't make the connection, I thought maybe it was a bug bite.

      It was very confusing at the time, but in retrospect it was pretty funny.
      Peel off, get in the shower, reach for shampoo, WHYFOR OW????