Running: A Reflection
What is running?
A serious question that I sometimes ask myself. My simple, scientific explanation is moving your limbs at a fast, almost uncomfortable rate. Catching yourself with each step as if you’re falling forward.
Doing this over a distance is running.
What is a race?
Animals seem to run as prey or predator, and I guess in a comparison that’s why we race. We race to see who is prey and who is a predator. I was asked to write an article for The Oval and truly as I write this, I am not sure where my thoughts will take me.
This article is somewhat of an improvisation of writing about what running is to me in this exact moment, and in today’s age it seems as though running is the only thing that remains consistent in my life.
We as runners have a lot of similarities. We wake up, snooze the alarm maybe once, maybe twice. We grog down the steps or walk down the thin hallway to our kitchen where we regretfully forgot to buy more coffee, so we then make an impromptu trip to a local shop for a fresh grind.
We stretch the legs, catch up over social media that we know we spend too much time on. We quickly swipe away the “Weekly Screen-Time” notification that Apple seems so keen on delivering when we have nothing to do but look at other people over our phones; who also have nothing to do.
We check our running log, look up routes and plan our run.
We tie our shoes — hopefully Brooks Running shoes — and we open our door to the fresh air of mindfulness. We think about our days, our lives, our loves and our futures. Running is a single activity that seems to unite us all in the free therapy we need.
Running is one of the purest motions for the mind and body.
When I started as a naïve twelve-year-old kid I never could have imagined where running has taken me today. Physically running has taken me to Barcelona, Dublin and dozens of states within the US. It has given me the opportunity to travel the world and relentlessly pursue a passion that would slowly develop into an obsession of excellence.
Mentally, it has built me into who I am today. How can the simple motion of moving your limbs at a fast rate mean so much? Physically and emotionally it seems like running is literally the epitome of life. However, not every run or life is the same.
Every run and everyone are different.
There are uphill climbs in life and steady flat stretches where you gain momentum. While sometimes you have to try and do your best to control your body flying at dangerous rates downhill. Sometimes the path splits and it’s up to you on which direction you’d like to continue on.
The analogies aren’t my own, nor are they new to you.
In addition, we have all heard that after every night there is a day, after every storm there is a rainbow. I am fortunate in my life that running is both my storm and my rainbow. There is nothing like the satisfying feeling of finishing a run or race knowing you maximized your potential in that exact moment in time.
You gave your life for that moment and in return running gave you a euphoric feeling of invincibility. And yet, there are moments where the weight of the world crashes down over us. The feeling that our entire existence has been defeated from a workout or race.
“How did that happen?”
“What was that?”
These are questions we ask ourselves when things don’t exactly go to plan.
Running in my opinion is one of the most vulnerable sports. You can’t fake fitness nor can you hide from results. Once an effort is recorded, it is there forever. We read cave drawings and tomes from our past, but in 1000 years will the future of mankind read about getting last in a dual meet in the midst of a training cycle? Probably not, but it can sure feel like it in the moment.
Running is important.
It is an activity, sport and challenge that we put so much time into, but what I hope to accomplish with this article is to strike within the realness of every runner — no matter the level of ability.
From pushing a stroller to pushing for Olympic teams. From 90-mile weeks to 40-hour work weeks with the occasional stress relief run, we as a community are truly all in this run together.
It unites us all.
It is time for me to tie my Brooks Running Shoes and head out the door. When I pass another runner I’ll give them the all-too-familiar runners’ nod and know we are all in this together.
DAVID RIBICH — BROOKS BEASTS TRACK CLUB // WESTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY
800 Meter Run — 1:48.09
1500 Meter Run — 3:37:35
One Mile Run — 3:57.83
Indoor 3000 Meter Run — 7:54.16
TWO-TIME NCAA DIVISION II 1500 METER RUN NATIONAL CHAMPION
NCAA DIVISION II DMR NATIONAL CHAMPION
9th Place Finisher, 2017 U.S. Team World Trials — 1500 Meter Run
Follow David on Twitter and Instagram and check out the Sit and Kick Podcast, his podcast with Josh Kerr