Monday, July 13, 2009

What Makes Bobby Run?

What makes Bobby Run?

After I got out of the Marines in 1969, I swore I would never run again.

Then I married a younger woman. A beautiful younger woman (just in case CJ is reading this). My first motivation to run was staying healthy, lean, and in shape so that some younger stud muffin would not steal my wife.

Pretty quick I started running races. My motivation was competition and setting personal bests in as many road races as I could afford. I had drawers full of T-shirts and bunches of little ribbons, medals, and such. Woo woo.

Along came the marathons. Now the gig was endurance and testing my physical and emotional limits. I had a bit of endurance, and I guess I passed the test. Now what?

In 2000 I was finally able to escape from the city. Wedged in a crack of the California foothills like a tick, I began to run as exploration of my new home. Running was not about how far or how fast, but about where. To paraphrase Seuss, “Oh the Places I’ve Run.” Canyons, mountains, meadows, forests, and just about every trail within a hundred miles—and there are a lot of trails in the Sierras! Me and my loyal pooches, first Daisy, and now Dharma.

But even that exploration lost its luster eventually. Where do I run from here?

For a short period I even tried running as a way to sell real estate. Don't ask. I'm not even going to try to explain it.

About a year ago I started reading Eckhard Tolle’s fabulous A New Earth. It gave me a new idea. Now I’m not going to get into the whole New Earth spiritual thing with you (read the book yourself), but I began to try to run as much as possible in the Present Moment. No goals, no expectations, just running to be running. Running in the here and now. Running in the Now. Me and Forrest Gump. Running running running. Now now now. Yeah, baby.

So that’s it. Of course, the colossal endorphin rush is just icing on the cake. We’re not talking “runner’s high,” were talking stoned out of your mind.

These days I run because I’m happy, or sad, or tired, or full of pep, or when it’s cold, or hot, or perfect, or I want to or I don’t want to. I run because I run.

My name is Bob, and I’m a Runna-holic.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff!!! There's great things in life and it's surreal when we find one we can become part of. Oh hell,you're probably so stoned out of your mind from running,this doesn't matter.

Take care,Scott

Frances Cherman said...

Sure is nice to read strong writing, Bob. Makes me realize how much of what I read online is done with held breath, waiting to wince.