The other day having read a post by a facebook friend of mine
“The best runners are the ones that can suffer better.” by Gary Allen,
an experienced marathon athlete /motivational speaker who has done
a sub 3 hour marathon in 5 consecutive decades. It got me thinking about
my views on this. Having read the responses, I realized that I think
quite differently then many about this. I really don’t think there is one right
way or wrong way to look at it. Whatever works for you, works for you. I do think
in sharing our different views we can learn from one another.
Running to me is not about pain or suffering and not about shutting off parts
of my brain from feeling the pain.
Addiction is about suffering and pain.
Running is not an addiction to me.
I worked hard to cure myself of many addictions.
I make sure running is not one of them.
I see running as a healthy habit.
Addiction in many ways is the embracing of pain as a form of pleasure.
Addictions give short term pleasure and long term pain.
Healthy habits are the opposite short term pain, long term pleasure.
When I run more times then not, there is no pain at all just pleasure.
Yet, to say there is no pain in running would be a lie.
When pushing your self limits there is what I like to refer to as discomfort, not exactly pain.
I feel running addiction is something to beware of, something to watch out for in yourself.
It is easy to go through life quitting one addiction then developing a different one.
The transfer of an addiction to running addiction could be a considerably tricky one,
in which you may think you are doing something good for your health.
We must check ourselves as to what we are running from here?
The root cause so to speak.
With many addictions we are doing a substance or habit to avoid some pain, yet
in return it is causing us long term pain on top of the pain we are avoiding.
In my mind, if running were to be about pain and suffering it would be almost exactly like addiction.
So how does one suffer better to become a better runner?
Initially my short sightedness did not see the truth in this statement.
To some it may mean suffering more and fighting through that suffering.
To others it maybe conquering suffering through engaging pleasure.
Either way the wisdom and words of the experienced athlete Gary Allen ring true.
I think with running and with much of life we will find that there are many different ways to do things.
It’s our jobs as individuals to find out what works best for us.
So what is running to me?
It is my love and my passion.
It is my gift to myself as it is my gift to the world.
It is a constant attempt and pursuit to the perfection of the mind, body and soul.
It is overcoming difficulty not by adding suffering but by adding pleasure.
At times it reminds me of a hurricane where there is pain and chaos all around but,
if I persist and push through the discomfort and see it in the best of light I will
arrive in the eye of the hurricane.
This is where I strive to go.
This is where there is peace and tranquility.
This is where I feel overwhelming pleasure.
I do not look for this perfect place outside of me, I look for it and find it inside of me.
Within this state of grace there is no pain, just pleasure.
Running to me is about love and pleasure.
This I find most powerful!
This is what I run with!
© 2012 Louis J. Auslander