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Nimble feet

January 4, 2011

Nice day for a run.

Sundays I usually run out of town passing several roads, forests and lakes. These runs become epic in the sense that I experience a variety of different lights, sights, hights, sounds, temperatures etc during the run, and epic in the sense that I run through daylight into dusk and darkness. Returning home much later, with the stars and moon.

Passing the ice cave deep in the forest.

After having been running 12 years now I have found the secret of running beauty: which is running with joy. I guess there are no shortcuts to reach this point but it’s definitely also mental, not only physical. Strong legs will help you keeping the forefoot stride and erect posture. But you will need to be mentally present for keeping a relaxed running style. Just like dancing, running is a form of expression and your running style express joy and acceptance or resistance and struggle. It matters what you do with your shoulders and face, stiff or relaxed. Where is the chest? How you pull yourself with the hip. How you lift your feet and swing your arms. How it feels. Just like when you dance.

Bird watching.

Would you describe it as dancing nimble feet fueled by the sensation of lightness, in body and mind? Or an eagerness driven by a joyful force? Or performing beauty by running mindfully, relaxed, aware and present, almost without effort. Or are you still “just training” when you run? Trying to accumulate a certain distance. Fulfilling a goal. Not enjoying it but rather longing to stop running. That’s the kind of running I call “running masochism”. It’s a very common type of running. But imagine living without enjoying life. Or eating without pleasure. Or attending a party without having a good time, without laughing. Or having sex for the “nice feeling afterwards”. What would that make you?

Running into the darkness.

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