My lovely neighbor’s daughter expresses so much joy when she plays on the pull up bar in my house. Her parents encourage her physical nature. She’s a natural athlete. I think that all kids should be encouraged to confidently move their bodies, to run, climb, and dance. We are physical beings and through testing our physical boundaries we grow not just muscles but emotional strength, intellectual skills and we feed our spirits. It touches all aspects of what it means to be human. And kids are humans in training.
Most folks I know do not run long distances. Most everyone I talk with about the running that I do reacts with varying levels of astonishment, disbelief and outright horror at the idea of running 85 kilometers. Just yesterday a friend’s teenaged son said, “Isn’t it dangerous to run so far? Won’t you hurt yourself?”
There is so much distance between what I know, what I’ve learned about myself through training and pushing my body and those questions that it’s difficult to express at once the joy it brings me and the confidence I have that if he trained as I did, he would be even more capable of doing what I do. Nonetheless, I tell him, it’s all in the training. It takes time. I did my regular 16 mile run yesterday. It involves steady climbing of about 1200 feet in elevation gain for the first 4 miles. It’s a good warm up. Once I hit the Bay View Trail I can kick into a stronger pace for the 4 miles out to Skyline gate where I turn around and retrace the route back to my house. Just 2 months ago I was nervous to do this run for the first time and it wiped me out. Now, it is familiar and my body remembers it. Now, it’s a good tired once I finish it and I only require a 40 minute recovery meditation and I’m good to go.