Perhaps because this time of year impels me to do so, I have been reflecting lately on what is possible. While I have often been accused of overly exuberant optimism, there is something about the runner’s life that feeds that sense of hope within me. As I sit here today, about halfway through my ‘off-season,’ I cannot help but look ahead to the future, a future which I have to believe is filled with promise and possibility. A future which, in spite of all the challenges and pitfalls of modern life, inspires and motivates.
Why do I do this? What is it about the present that fills me with such hope? How does the primal act of running bring this out of me so viscerally?
I believe that, as a runner, I re-invent myself every day. While the accumulated mileage on my body and the impact of age on my speed are undoubtedly part of who I will always be, each time I lace up my shoes I have the opportunity for renewal. Some days I am renewed as a dad, others days as a teacher. Some days the run seems effortless, other times it’s a slog. Kind of like life, many times I just don’t know where I am going or what I am seeking. The simple truth is, the possibility of the runner’s experience brings clarity and focus on a daily basis.
This fall, in particular, as I look ahead to a 2015 racing season that will not include Western States, there is mystery embedded in this possibility. What will the summer bring? What new corners of my mind and heart will be revealed as this next phase in my running life is unlocked?
To me the process of becoming a runner is evolutionary and fluid. Even those of us stuck in a rut with our training and racing are often inevitably forced to address questions we did not know how to ask. In the ongoing race to become more whole, at times the parts bog us down and connecting the dots becomes more difficult. The daily focus and clarity of possibility can complete the circle. In essence, that is why I run. And, the me that emerges out of the circle is who I’ll continue to become.
Brew’s Beer of the Month
We were in Alaska in early September and I got to try a couple beers from Anchorage Brewing Company, which specialize in barrel fermentation and brettanomyces. (Check out this article for more information on brettanomyces.) They say “brett” creates complexity that rivals wine. My favorite was the Love Buzz Saison. The description says it’s brewed with “rose hips, peppercorns, and fresh orange peels. Dry-hopped in the barrel with Citra hops. Second fermentation in Pinot Noir barrels.” So, um, it’s pretty complex. If you want to try a sour, you can’t go wrong with anything from Anchorage Brewing Company.
Call for Comments (from Meghan)
- At this time of year, what is many people’s off seasons, are you feeling like your running world is wide open, limitless, full of possibility?
- As you think about where running could take you irrespective of variables like age and speed, do you feel like there is still plenty of room in our sport for you to grow and expand your skills and abilities?