Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why do people run races?

One day, my dad asked “Why do people run races?” while driving me to the bus stop during my morning commute.  In the fleeting moments that I had to come up with something clever, I blurted out the first answer that came to mind, “because we should always be striving toward something”.  I was greeted with a somewhat dissatisfied expression, we then looked onward to the road in silence.

I later asked myself: why do people run races and marathons? While I can’t speak for everyone, I can say for me the motivating factor has been:
to feel something,
to feel alive
     and ultimately
to feel human.

As my mom would say, “Human, in what sense?” attempting to get to the heart of the matter. Human to me means to be part of the human race beyond just the common attributes of the body; instead attributes such as the mind, soul or some kind of universal consciousness.  Unfortunately though I have experienced it to be true, I don’t feel this state of oneness with all on a day to day basis.  We all divvy up into our families, our friends, our jobs, our lives.  That’s the damning characteristic of the ego.

So why run a race?

When we run a race, we all run as one, we are acting as one.  We have one common underlying goal that unites us as brethren and that is to cross the finish line! And to add to that gratifying moment when we do cross that line, the knowing that we are helping raise funds for less fortunate brothers and sisters is all the more rewarding..

So why run at all?

I like to think of it as a physical meditation especially when you run alone. The road twists and turns but you have to keep on moving, even when its up hill.  Walking is acceptable, but stopping indefinitely isn't a choice. For the individual it is the goal setting, of distance and time and the discipline that drives you to persevere to the result of accomplishment. You feel alive with your body, mind and soul fully engaged, pushing yourself to new limits!

Therefore not only do you connect to other humans beings but you also connect to yourself, all in a grandiose state of oneness. So that’s my more well thought out answer;)

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