People may say that I run like Phoebe, but I feel like Shalane.
That is the beauty of running—you can’t see yourself doing it and you temporarily forget that you are not an Olympic marathoner.
That is, of course, unless you are in a gym where there could be mirrors. Aren’t treadmills in front of mirrors the absolute worst idea? It’s just 30 minutes of watching yourself run like Phoebe.
Okay, let’s pretend you’re not at the gym. You’re running on a lovely trail. Also, you’re Shalane again.
Isn’t it great to just forget about your worries out there? Except maybe…wait. What is that thing up there? Is it a porcupine? Yep. It’s a porcupine. Are porcupines mean? Do porcupines attack?
Oh…hold up. Never mind. It’s just a pine cone.
Well, that was embarrassing. Let’s get back to forgetting about your worries, shall we?
In her book “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “We all need something that helps us forget ourselves for a while—to momentarily forget our age, our gender, our socioeconomic background, our duties, our failures, and all that we have lost and screwed up.” Like, perhaps, mistaking a pine cone for a porcupine. (Based on a true story.)
Gilbert is writing about creativity, but isn’t running a form of creativity? Isn’t it an expression of self through sport? Yes? No? What if you do GPS art?
She goes on to say, “Perhaps creativity’s greatest mercy is this: By completely absorbing our attention for a short and magical spell, it can relieve us temporarily from the dreadful burden of who we are.”
Couldn’t you just replace the word creativity with running in that sentence?
Are you still not buying that running is creative? What about how Gilbert says that at the end of our “creative adventure” we have a souvenir. Bling, anyone? PR, anyone? A LITTLE PEACE AND QUIET, ANYONE?
I think running is creative, and you don’t have to agree with me (even though I’m right). I do think that we can both agree that running is a beautiful way to forget about real life for a while—things like laundry, taxes, and that snarky work email you accidentally sent to “reply all.”
Oh, man. Sorry for bringing that up. Guess you have to go for a run now!
Kerrie Turcic is a runner from Maple Valley, Wash. Kerrie is currently a copywriter by day, and also a