Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Run, Forrest

We run for different reasons, but anyone who spends any appreciable time running stops, at some point, and asks, "why am I running?"  Forrest Gump ran a few thousand miles before it occured to him that his means had no end, and in the end, he did not understand the means.  Haruki Murakami wrote a book about the less obvious utility of running - Things I think about when I think about running, averring the clearness of thought, and tranquility his daily run has brought to him.  Clearly, running is more about getting from one place to another quickly.

Maintaining the mental and physical stamina to continue running through the parenting years (also the career building years) is undeniably difficult, and in the case of the author, was a failure.  From marathons and sixty miles on my feet a week, to arthritis and sixty miles of driving a day.  Being here has allowed me an unfettered opportunity to slowly overcome the orthopedic ravages and sloth and return to Murakami's running zen.  This is an exaggeration.

However, there is no beer here (at least no quality beer with alcohol), you walk everywhere, and, most importantly, there is nothing else to do, except exercise.  [The list of leisure activities has been well vetted on a previous blog: exercise, reading, movies].  So, outside of the 60 hours a week that I am at my job - and the slowing pace of incoming traumas has allowed for this working pace since I have been here - there is always time to exercise.  Admist the weight training that the rickety shoulders and knees tolerate, I am on the treadmill, and slowly reducing the spare tire (have gone from p195/75 R16 to p185/65 R14 thus far), and my R-Zen is on the horizon.

Even when you have accepted your fate in this minimum security prison (see previous blog), and you have agreed to make the best of your sentence, ennui looms large (btw-can ennui loom?  or be large? ??).  This is not a unique phenomenon, or a surprise, I guess, as this is the military.  There are, however, nearly weekly 5k running races (universally won by one of the east African gazelle contractors here on base) with hundreds of entrants, sometimes thousands.  Maybe they just want the T-shirt, but I think that they are looking for  clear minds and their own R-Zen(s).

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