So if you haven't heard of this amazing runner, Dr. George Sheehan, you should read a bit about his story and his passion for running - and living. He ran the world's first sub-five-minute mile by a 50 year old and went on to run an impressive laundry list of runs in his lifetime...but was more impressive was his philosophy on running. During my Peace Corps service I started running, Throughout my life, I was always interested in health and wellness but my love of running was rekindled during my time living in a remote South African village. I can’t really say what sparked this love affair with running but I do know running helped me stay sane during my service. I loved getting up early in the morning and running along the village roads in the quiet mornings. It was my time to really clear my head and create some space. When I was feeling frustrated or stressed out or happy or sad, I would lace up my shoes and run. George Sheehan once implied that running was a religion but what he was trying to say was that it's a place where you can completely lose yourself and commune with God and yourself. Here's the short essay if you are interested -http://www.georgesheehan.com/running_religion.html
When I started running, I randomly was participating in a few marathons here and there…South Africa is rich with running events. Not so much in the villages but in the large communities. So I did a few marathons and then this crazy ultra marathon (which is where you run the distance of two marathons). I loved all of these events – not because I’m really any good but because it gave me a chance to be part of a community of like-minded people who love running as much as I do. Anyway, when I left South Africa I have continued running. I typically run here in the mornings before most people are up and before there are cars on the road (because there aren’t that many sidewalks so your risk of dying is much lower). I haven’t really done any races because, well, there aren’t any here in Zambia. So a few months ago I decided I would go back to South Africa and run a couple this year. Thus, last weekend I traveled back to Johannesburg to run in my first marathon in over a year. It gave me the chance to see old friends, get my hair cut (very important since Zambia is not to connected to good hair stylists) and ultimately run in this marathon. I was pleased with the run but really I don’t care how I do…I run because I love it. Because it's sorta like my religion.