Being a runner invites all sorts of conversation. From “Why do you run?” to “You’ll wreck your knees” to “Run Forrest Run!” to “Have you ever run a marathon?”
Last week, John 3 and I finished our second run-through of the Battlestar Galactica reboot on Netflix. Without giving the entire show away, there is a flashback scene in the last episode of the series in which Samuel Anders, former captain of the Caprica Buccaneers pyramid team, is being interviewed post-game while in an ice bath. He’s asked by a reporter about the team record and why they’ve never won a championship. I loved his response:
“Look you wanna know the truth? I don’t really care about the
stats or the cup or the trophy or anything like that. In fact even the games aren’t that important to me. What matters to me is the perfect throw, making the perfect catch, the perfect step and block. Perfection. That’s what it’s about. It’s those moments. When you can feel the perfection of creation. The beauty the physics you know the wonder of mathematics. The elations of action and reaction and that is the kind of perfection that I want to be connected to.”
Here’s my answer:
There is a moment on each run, no matter how fleeting, when my heart rate drops and my breathing slows to the point where I cannot even tell I’m taking in oxygen. My pace is perfect and there is no sound as my shoes hit the ground. It’s almost as if it’s where I was meant to be at that moment in space and time. I don’t run for a placement, a bib or a sticker. I run because I can, and every single time I do, I am fully reminded of the fact that I am alive. Every ache, pop, pull, stretch and movement, every step, push-off and landing, every single breath I take in then expel from my body reveals there is life in this dying body, and in that moment, that 30, 60, or 180 seconds of elation and flow, I am fully in it.
I run because it gives me life.