Nothing More To Say

After more than four years of writing this column, I have decided to call it quits. This will be my last in a series of more than 100 articles.

Rarely in life do we get to finish prominent endeavors primarily on our own terms. We know that everything will come to an end at some point, but like life in general often does, many things end without as much contemplation and closure as we might desire. When I wrote my first column here in March of 2012 I knew I would someday write my last, and I feel like now is the time to do so, and I feel fortunate to be able to make the choice to do so at a time that feels ‘right,’ and at a time when I’ve been able to put a lot of thought into my decision. I feel like I have said what I have to say about running in the setting of this website. This isn’t to say that my passion for the sport has necessarily diminished, it’s just shifted in a way that doesn’t lend itself to having the same energy, drive, and ideas for writing these columns as I previously did. I feel entirely honored, blessed, and proud to have had this opportunity, but I also feel excited to move on to the next thing, and to see where the energy that I have put into these articles will resurface in the coming months and years.

Before closing out, I am excited to take the time to reflect on my experiences of this four-year journey. When I began this gig I really had no idea where it would go, or what to expect. Pretty quickly, though, my relationship with these articles, and my interactions with the readers of iRunFar became something that was significantly embedded in my day-to-day life. I rarely went a day without thinking at least a little bit about my previous article or about my upcoming article. This created a snowball effect of feeling like I had more and more to say, and I had more and more passion and excitement to say it.

In the later part of 2012, I became very sick with an undiagnosed condition that I am still compromised by today (although to a much lesser degree). There were many times between September 2012 and September 2013 in which I thought I would stop writing these columns. Contemplating and composing articles was a welcome distraction from my health, but I felt like it was odd for me to write articles about running when I myself was regularly unable to run for days or weeks in a row. Over time, though, I began to realize that this experience gave me a lot of relevance and potential to write rich and beneficial articles. What runner hasn’t had times when they can’t run because of their health? As someone who had once competed at a very high level who was diminished to hardly being able to run at all, I had a perfect opportunity to share insight into this process that might be helpful to all runners. At many points during this first year of illness, these articles became a valuable resource for me to process and better understand how to cope with the inexplicable roller coaster that my body was forcing me through.

Over time my health gradually improved, and my relationship with these articles, and more specifically with the readers of this website, continued to evolve in a nourishing and sustainable way. I began to more appreciate the passion and knowledge that so many people have for this great sport. This is the most significant thing that I care to express in this last column: a deep appreciation and thank you to everyone who has engaged with me through this process. Whether you are someone who has silently listened to what I have to say with no response or you are one of the regular responders, I deeply appreciate your participation. There are hundreds of you who submitted essays of your own in response to a couple different essay contests I created. There are those of you that have offered praise and respect, and there or those of you that have offered critique and criticism. I thank all of you. You have all made me a better writer with more to say because of your contributions.

Thinking about running, writing about running, and interacting with readers about running has continually given me more of a voice and more to say about running than I thought I would ever have. In this sense, with your help I have been excited, passionate, and honored to publish a new piece every two weeks for these four years. It’s been an incredibly satisfying journey that I value in every sense.

The past couple months, though, I have noticed a move in the opposite direction. The more I say about running, the less I generally feel I have to say. Initially I interpreted this as a diminishing interest in running in general, but the more I looked at it I realized that I have simply said what I have to say here and am ready to move on in how I express my thoughts about running.

I take great solace, though, in knowing that I will always be a more thoughtful, knowledgeable, and contemplative runner because of my experience of writing these articles, and because of everything I have learned from all of you who have read. I can’t say thank you enough for all you have done for me in this process, so I will just say it one more time. Thank You.

And now, I really have nothing more to say. Besides, I am supposed to meet a friend in a few moments to go for a run…

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

Four years is a long time to write a twice-per-month column! Bryon and I are so grateful for Geoff’s continued support of both iRunFar and the running community with his thoughts and words all these years. Thank you, Geoff.

Do you have a favorite column of Geoff’s? Something that made you think a little more or a little more differently about your relationship with running? Leave a comment to share your thoughts!

There are 47 comments

  1. Fernando B

    I would like to take the time and Thank You Geoff! Ive enjoyed your columns over the years and always felt I learned a little more here and there, as to how one of the best ultrarunners period! trained and envisioned running, thanks again! Fernando

  2. astroyam

    I’ve always liked your articles, and respect your calling it at the time that feels right. Way to finish strong!

  3. Erica Lake

    Thank you for your columns over the last four years – I looked forward to reading them on Wednesday mornings. I hope you’ll continue to share your writing.

  4. Kyle

    Passions wane and I am glad you can recognize when to move on to pour yourself into something new! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights, I have garnered a lot of new knowledge from your writing. Enjoy your new exploration and don’t be afraid to write if the mood strikes you!

  5. Grant Nicolaus

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts over the last 4 years. I was always interested in both what you had to say as well and your ongoing health issues. I wish you continued health and happiness.

  6. Delia

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts all this time! Here’s to something fun and creative happening in your new spare time.
    “Downhill Rhythm” was a great one – it got me inspired to practice the downhills more.

  7. Michael K

    You’ve provided terrific perspective on a part of the world I’ve always been curious about-southern AK/Juneau. Always resonated with your deep thinking Geoff. From that part of the world you’ve also put a proud stamp on in a former blazing Wasatch 100. – Salt Lake

  8. Tim

    i love your writing and am sad to lose this bit of contact with your mind… maybe your akrunning blog will be updated every once and a while?

    sharing your thoughts has made an impact on many runners –> a friend of mine, now deceased, once counted on your wisdom (which he gleaned from either a piece here or from your blog) to help him accept the lows and move on during 100 milers.

  9. Seth

    Geoff thank you for all of the articles. As someone still considered new to the sport I learned a lot by reading your articles going from peak to valley and working back up.
    Enjoy.

  10. OOJ

    BITD, it was just us three: AJW, me, and Geoff!

    It’s been a pleasure to be a co-contributor with you, and to read your insights each month! Thanks for your contributions – to iRunFar and to the sport and community – and best of luck wherever your keystrokes next land!

    -OOJ

  11. Teresa Morris

    Thank you, Geoff, from yet another silent reader. I have benefitted from reading your articles, as well as from reading the commentary following your articles. Your graceful exit is inspiring and touching. I wish you excellent health and joyful running.

  12. Nate

    Well, we knew it had to end at some point but I look forward to hearing about what you’re up to in the future. Thanks for the columns Geoff!

  13. Perry Edinger

    Geoff, Thank you for all that you have provided. I have greatly appreciated your articles and will deeply miss them.
    You are the best.

  14. Bobby O

    One of my favorite columns to read (if not my favorite.) Much love and many blessings, Geoff. Your writing always resonated deeply with me and I was always pleased with your thoughts on running and life. You will be missed!

    ((Btw, you could easily turn all your articles into a book of some sort. Something akin to Eiger Dreams by Krakauer.))

  15. Tom

    Thank you Geoff for your many thoughts and insights about running and life. I am a back-of-the-pack finisher at the Wasatch Front 100, and am always in awe at your course record there. I hope that you continue to enjoy running in the mountains for many, many years to come.

  16. Ryne Anderson

    Thanks for all the entertaining and interesting introspections into running. I always thought about running a little differently after reading them.

  17. mike anthony

    So long Geoff, hope you can keep an online presence somewhere. Like many others, you were my inspiration for getting into ultra running but sadly by the time I did you had stopped racing due to your health issues. As such there was always something familiar and warm about reading these articles, knowing your still out there enjoying your life and the sport in new and old ways alike. Wishing you all the best of luck for your future

  18. Alice

    Thank you, Geoff, for sharing your insights about running and life over the past four years of writing so many great articles. Much appreciated!

Post Your Thoughts