I had a most excellent 8K barefoot run this morning, at a good medium pace. Bright sunshine and a temperature of 20C. And I made another interesting discovery.
When I started running 30 years ago, I was running away from things. Away from being overweight (I weighed 210 lbs. then, as opposed to the 160 lbs. I weigh now), away from a job a didn’t like, away from an awful lot of internal doubt and confusion. But I ran, and enjoyed it, and I found meaning in it.
Fast forward to two years ago. After being away from running for many years, I started again, and began running toward things. Toward a new level of fitness (I got there), toward a marathon goal (I didn’t get there), and toward a new kind of maturity.
Now, after my first year of running barefoot running, I find I’m running within. I’ve dealt with the majority of my old demons, and I’m no longer concerned with trying to live up to other people’s running models. Each time I run, I run to a place within myself where I find peace and meaning. I’ve become a better runner and a better person because of the journey. It’s just taken me a very long time.
(By the way, I stole the title of this post. It’s the title of a book I’m reading, by Canadian author M.G. Vassanji. A beautiful book, full of wonderful writing and provocative thoughts. Highly recommended!)