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RE: Once a Runner: Discussions, Quotations, Reflections
- ?At paces which might stun and dismay the religious jogger, the runners easily kept up all manner of chatter and horseplay. When they occasionally blew by a huffing fattie or an aging road runner, they automatically toned down the banter to avoid overwhelming, to preclude the appearance of showboating (not that they slowed in the slightest). They in fact respected these distant cousins of the spirit, who, among all people, had some modicum of insight into their own days and ways. But the runners resembled them only in the sense that a puma resembles a pussy cat. It is the difference between stretching lazily on the carpet and prowling the jungle for fresh red meat? (10).
I think running faster is better, but the key is doing what you can with the abilities you've been given and to invest in others to help them to as well. That is why no matter how fast or slow you are, you should be able to respect your running brethren. If your a runner, running is an activity that can make you feel alive... we are not meant to live alone, but in community, and we can identify with other "distant cousins of the spirit" who have had the "breath" of running breathed into them as well.
Personally, I have been on both sides. I have had the privilege of knowing slower runners and have respected their love for it and their unrecognized, pure discipline. On the other hand I can think of a few examples where much faster guys have respected me, and it felt good to know that was accepted despite my slowness.
One occasion that is notable to me is a time when I congratulated a guy who is currently one of the besty marathoners in the US for an excellent result in a breakthrough race for him. With sincerety, he said thank you and that it meant something coming from a guy who had run the miles and done the work. Now actually, my work pales in comparison to many (and to his), but in that moment, I was a true runner with him and respected as such.
It's a unique brother/sisterhood we have in running, especially for those who really have gone for it.. to see what they can do... to really be alive. It is my opinion, that although we takle no prisoners on race day, we should encourage each other towards our utmost.
OK, ISO_OAR, I'm gonna be a little pissed if I don't make your paper.
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